Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality

Back in May 2016, wrote about the Deutsche Telekom international competition, Fashion Fusion. With the objective to unfold the future of fashion and technology, the competition was looking to support relevant, functional, sustainable and sought-after smart fashion with the power to enrich people’s lives in the long term.

Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality
Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality

Targeting creative minds from fashion and technology space, Fashion Fusion has been challenging design thinkers and also supporting them to make their idea go from concept to reality. Since its launch, we have decided to revisit the Fashion Fusion camp to find out what projects are flourishing under the experienced eye of the coaches at the Fashion Fusion Lab.

“The objective of fashion fusion is to unfold the future of fashion and technology.”

The Telekom Fashion Fusion finalists have been divided into 3 categories, Digitally Enhanced Fashion, Connected Devices and Accessories, and Smart Services. The finalists in the Digitaly Enhanced Fashion category include PYRATES, headed by Regina Polanco, Omar Benomar, Zuzana Kralova, Marie Lietaro. The foursome are part of a Swiss start-up that produces high end sportswear which is timeless, fashionable and functional. Innovative, intelligent materials are the hallmark of their collection. Offering added value Pyrates’ aim is to revolutionize everyday clothing through intelligent fabrics that care and protect your body and skin.

Pyrates collection pieces
Pyrates collection pieces

Other finalists, in the same category, worthy of a mention are Dagmar Kestner and Prisca Vilsbøl the two women behind the ARTICULATED DRESS. Based in Germany, Dagmar Kestner is a designer and artist creating work at the intersection of fashion, textile and sculpture. Prisca Vilsbøl is working in the field of fashion design, material and design research. For Fashion Fusion, they are developing the “Articulated Dress”, a garment changing appearance, structure and shape, stimulated by the wearers touch. Its macrostructure can contract, change or open up.

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The interactive surface of the “Articulated Dress” can be modeled and altered, so that the silhouette temporarily changes. From a technical perspective, the designers want to explore conductive laser cut textiles and sensory shape memory polymers to induce versatility and flexibility. The team’s vision is to explore the poetic potential of the SMP technology and to design a smart, communicative couture garment. At the same time, they want to bring the luxurious warmth of hand-made garments into a machine made product.

Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality
Fashion Fusion finalist Dagmar Kestner| Credits: Techbook

In the Connected Devices category YUMA caught our attention. Made up of Theresia Uhrlau and Julia Schröder, they are aiming their project at modern backpack tourists. The duo is looking to solve the common problem faced by many travelers, which is the lack of power source whilst on the go. Yuma is looking to enable travelers to generate solar energy themselves in a sustainable manner.

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Lightweight solar cells in a specially developed solar material can be integrated into various multifunctional outdoor products which are part of a backpack tourist’s baggage anyway. This way, the waterproof rucksack protector and the ski goggles could automatically capture the sun’s rays during the day and generate the electricity needed to charge end devices such as laptops, smartphones or lights.

Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality
Fashion Fusion finalists YUMA (Theresia Uhrlau and Julia Schröder) | Credits: Techbook

Another talent in the Connected Devices category who grabbed our attention was Maartje Dijkstra and her team mate Beorn Lebenstedt. The Dutch twosome’s project is about creating a sculptural fashion piece, built up from small fragments which can fly like drones. The 3D printed, individual pieces match the tones from the motors to the melodies of electronic music, presented as a spectacular performance. Just as an organism is made up of cells, the individual fragments produce a moving, breathing design.

When producing the dress, the designer team uses the very latest technology, including manual and digital 3D printing and drones. The result is an innovative fashion performance which opens up new dimensions of haute couture due to the flight functionality, the permanent movement, the sound of the drones and a piece of music specially composed for the dress by music producer Newk. The option of controlling the movement of the fragments via a smartphone also allows the user to add individual touches and makes the dress a very personal eye-catcher.

“Fashion Fusion is providing a platform for visionary ideas and encouraging innovative concepts from young talent.”

Lastly, in the Smart Services category there is only one project, headed by Tank Thunderbird, Antonio Ciutto and Christian Bruns. The trio is currently working on a smart service product for connecting fashion fans: the augmented reality experience, Mimeme. By giving users a digital aura, an app will enable new fashion experiences through virtual clothing. The team is planning to create wearable pieces with visual markings, which serve as placeholders for elements, forms and models that are projected digitally onto the body.

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This virtual clothing will allow users to wear fashions that they do not physically own or that do not exist in the real world. The wearer could even slip into a completely different identity. The virtual clothing will be viewable in real time through end devices such as augmented reality glasses or smartphones. The team believes that Mimeme will offer added value for experimental fashion, gamers, and even for parents to find their children more easily in crowds.

Fashion Fusion Finalists; Young Talent Making Visionary Ideas A Reality

With cash prizes up to €20,000, Fashion Fusion is all about molding visionary concepts into disruptive solutions that set new standards for smart fashion. Supported by Intel, WIRED, Adidas and #FASHIONTECH Berlin, Fashion Fusion are providing a platform for visionary ideas and encouraging innovative concepts from young talent. Now we look forward to attending the first Fashion Fusion Award Show in January 2017. It is there, that we will be able to get up close and personal with the 12 finalists of the Fashion Fusion Challenge. We look forward to seeing visionary pieces that represent fashion’s future and participating in the lively conversations that will most likely be taking place between fashion tech industry insiders and the innovative talent.

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