At the end of last month, some of our favourite game-changers, Belgian Jasna Rokegem of Jasna Rok and Dutch designers Marina Toeters and Maartje Dijkstra took part in an event that examined future technology and the businesses of tomorrow. Called SuperNova, the technology festival offered attendees the chance to explore how one-of-a-kind visionary solutions, technologies and insights come together.
Discovering New Ideas and Technologies for Tomorrow
The Antwerp based experience invited professionals, entrepreneurs, creatives, researchers, innovators and investors to ‘feed their curiosity and discover new ideas’. Spanning a total of 16 locations, with more than 120 interactive installations and demos, the 4-day event was all about experiencing the life of tomorrow. On the festival, organisers Pascal Cools and Jürgen Ingels, told FashionUnited, “It was about time that we organise such an ambitious event in Flanders. There is so much potential in Flanders and that’s what we have to show more often. At the same time, we must not hesitate to attract more of the best from around the world to our region in order to learn from them.”
When it came to the exhibition, Maartje exhibited the TranSwarm Entities dress, a “sculptural high-fashion dress” that won third place at Telekom’s Fashion Fusion competition in 2017. The 3D printed dress wowed attendees with its interactive mini-drones that moved to the beats of music producer Newk. Marina Toeters showcased her Athleisure Fashion collection which included a smart shirt with sensors laminated seamlessly onto the material. The innovation made it possible for the shirt to keep pace with the wearer’s heartbeat and respiratory.
Jasna Rok got the crowd excited over a dress that is connected to the brain, in which a holographic demo allows you to see how the futuristic dress will look on you. The Belgian futurist was also the co-curator of the fashion pavilion, a space that was located at the Museum Aan De Stroom. On the project she told FashionUnited, “Using several inspiring cases, I wanted to provide answers to three questions: why do we see technology everywhere, but not in our clothing? Why do we still view fashion in 2D and not in 3D? With fashion as the second most polluting industry in the world, how can we reduce the fashion footprint?”
Other visionaries who participated included Belgian W.R.Yuma whose focus was showing the crowds how technology can create things like 3D-printed sunglasses made of plastic waste which in turn tackles the current environmental problem. Then there was Anita Evenepoel and Tine de Ruysser from Belgium who showcased a collection of small black dresses created through laser cutting, thermoforming and relief on spacer fabrics. Merging technology with sustainability was SOLVE, a Danish brand that we have previously written about. They presented Omdanne, a capsule collection, which is composed of three timeless pieces called the ‘T’, ‘R’, and ‘E’, can be converted into over 30 styles which range from jumpsuits and dresses to trousers and jackets.
Also taking sustainability into account was H&M foundation’s Global Change Award winner Resortecs. They have come up with a genius way that will make both repairing and recycling simple by showing off a thread that can dissolve at a high temperature. Their objective was to make it easy for a whole piece of clothing to disassembled so that the fabric can be used over and over in new ways, cutting the need to produce fabric from scratch. Then there was HNST, a company that produces jeans made from 56 per cent recycled denim.
Lastly, SuperNova did something I thought was great because it goes hand in hand with fashion tech, they also gave retail tech the spotlight. Working with RetailDetail, they welcomed, for the first time, the public to their Innovation Centre where attendees were given a peek into how new retail trends and technological applications will play a key role in how we will shop. On the multi-sensory experiences, RFID & beacons, 3D-body scanners, facial recognition, holograms and smart interactive mirrors on offer Katrien Huygens, business unit manager at RetailDetail said; “We are developing products for the consumer who is looking for new ways in the future of living, working and consuming, and we confront the retailers with this new phenomena. Retailers still think that the nearest store is a physical store, while in reality, it is now the smartphone. The online and offline world must start to intertwine far better and that is possible with technology.”