The fashion industry, as well as the technological industry, have seen many changes through the years. The one remaining constant is that both industries grow together. Over time, technology becomes fashionable, and fashion becomes technologically fashionable. How they have grown together is a fascinating journey. A glimpse of the past and present shines a light on what lies ahead in the future. -Christopher Burch
The 70s boom box brought excitement as it allowed the user to carry around favorite tunes and stations. Also, with two cassette decks, one side played music, and the other could be used to record from the other cassette. Its use, going into the 80s, was added to movie story lines which added to the popularity of carrying one. Moving forward to the 90s, one could buy a more personal music experience with the invention of the Walkman. Another decade later, this personal experience became even smaller with the purchase of the iPod. Technology grows with the popularity of what one considers fashionable.
The Past And Present
Currently, the synthesis of technology and fashion is happening. Fashion designers delight in creating what delivers, and they see this possibility with the use of technology. Such use brings a higher standard in innovation and functionality. Anouk Wipprecht, a Dutch fashion designer who marries technology with fashion states, "[technology is] like a playground, a place of experiment, and as you dive deeper and deeper into the technology and systems, it rewards you with endless possibilities." She is known for her avant-garde designs. She has quite literally designed a drink-making dress, the DareDroid and Pseudomorphs, the self-painting dress.
Looking Towards The FutureOther fashions advance through the use of technology in a way to protect us. While it may not be fashionable to wear bike protection, Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin created a system one would wear around the neck, the Airbag for Cyclists. An airbag pops up out of the neckwear to protect one's head from impact. When not opened, one has better visibility of the surroundings, which certainly is the negative aspect of wearing a helmet. Firefighters could find great protection for their team by wearing Frontline Gloves, created by Ashwin Rajan and Kevin Cannon. These allow the firefighters to let each other know valuable information through simple hand gestures to let others know such things as when to leave a scene or building, or to say that everything is okay.
Interestingly, designers are recycling materials to create fabulous fashions. SegraSegra recycled inner tubes of bicycles to create jackets and t-shirts, and Emma Whiteside created a large gown with recycled radiator copper.
Fashion and technology can be used together for creating energy. Since movement can be changed over to electrical energy, newly created clothing captures this kinetic energy to power such things as a watch, mp3, and so on. Soledad Martin is working on a prototype for shoes so that while walking or running, one can charge a cell phone.
Technology And Fashion Work TogetherSometimes technology needs assistance to gain popularity from fashion. For instance, wearing glasses have had little acceptance up until recently. Google Glass, while from a computer geek's point-of-view may be intriguing, the problem is for one, a stigma of wearing glasses. For another, the cost for the average person is astronomical. But here is another issue; someone could want the technology that does not wear glasses.
One top fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg came to the rescue. Her models wore them while on the catwalk. Fashion shows tend to wake people up to the latest styles and trends, so accepting the new technology of Google Glass should have the same effect. Thus, advances in technology may need to benefit from the world of fashion.
As we can see, fashion and technology can grow together and can even help one out one another. The future of technology is leading into the future of fashion. Technology and fashion both work hand-in-hand to make each one the best. Technology not only creates beautiful fashions but helps in creating functional fashions as well. The excitement of tomorrow lies in what both industries learn from each other to make this world a more beautiful, creative, and protected place in which to live.
Chris Burch is founder of Burch Creative Capital.