As far back as 1998, the combination of fashion and technology has proved to be a force to be reckoned with. Designers and makers with the drive to not only challenge traditional design methods but also change the direction of the fashion industry has been keeping us on tenter hooks for a while now. With so much going on we took a moment to compile our favourite fashion tech milestones so far:
1998: Robots Stylishly Spray
Alexander McQueen’s Spring 1999 show was theatrical and the fashion crowd fell head over heels in love with the performance art. The tech part was when the late designer employed robots to spray-paint a dress worn by model Shalom Harlow. Painted in shades of black and yellow, Harlow spun on a revolving platform to the amusement of the audience.
2006: Microchips Galore
Form met function at Hussein Chalayan’s Spring 2007 show. Known for his innovation, Chalayan used microchips to reveal garments that mold and unfold by erasing seams to take on new forms and shapes at the end of the catwalk.
2010: Haute 3D
This was the year that Iris van Herpen unveiled her first 3-D-printed designs. Collaborating with London-based architect Daniel Widr, the collection was printed around the clockby .MGX by Materialise. It took approximately seven days to print the entire collection.
2014: Fibre Optic Fabric
The late Richard Nicoll’s “Jellyfish” dress was an instant hit on the runway at London Fashion Week. Created in collaboration with London-based Studio XO, the slip dress was made from a fibre optic fabric activated by high intensity LEDs tailored within it.
2014: Unleashing the Drones
2014: Highstreet Goes VR
Topshop was the first high street brand to introduce a virtual-reality tour from its London flagship store. They specially commissioned Oculus Rift 3-D headsets so as to enable shoppers to see its catwalk in real time.
2015: When Luxury Tech met Luxury Fashion
2015: Seeing is Buying
When Retail Tech gave birth to the See Now Buy Now phenomenon It instantly revolutionised the pace of luxury retail. Many brands saw this new technology as the golden ticket to engaging with their customer. As fashion forward as this tech perk is, do we really need buy more?
2016: Plastic Bottles Are The New Black
Someone put their thinking cap on and decided that used plastic bottles could have an afterlife. Their recarnation came in the shape of being interwoven with fabric. Brands like G star raw and Adidas worked with innovating companies like Parley. Together they found a way to reuse waste in a sustainable manner. Once this exciting new way of creating sustainable pr had hit the headliners, it became a worthy bandwagon cause to jump in on.
2016 was the year that, EVRYTHNG, IoT Smart Products Platform pioneer, switched on their ‘born digital’ campaign. Working together with Avery Dennison, the global leader in apparel and footwear branding, the two companies daringly announced their plans to enable a minimum of 10 billion smart clothes (apparel) and footwear products.
2016: Exploration of New Materials
2017: When Science Finally Met Fashion
We heard about 36 year old Molly Singh’s smart shoe back in 2015. Since hitting the headlines, her objective has finally been realised. You can now, in 2017, buy the limited edition Thesis Couture smart heel.
2017: Fashion Tech Entering Graphene Era
With the power to change how we view clothing, Graphene textile technology is the new material disrupting the smart textile world.