Fashion Meets Technology

Thursday, October 15, 2015
I look forward to the Met Gala every year. I love to see how the attendees incorporate the theme of the gala into their outfit selection. Although, at times, I feel like the attendees want to outshine one another versus to use this opportunity (of having a theme) to learn more about how different fields of work is incorporated into the fashion industry/how different cultures interpret fashion. To be completely frank, it's hard to motivate myself to learn about something new unless I'm able to apply it in a field I'm already interested in. For example, I never would've chose to take a Chinese Paintings course in school (this semester) if it weren't for the Met Gala 2015 theme, "Through the Looking Glass" exhibit. I went to see that exhibit earlier in the summer and it definitely opened my mind into learning more about other cultures in the art world instead of focusing on European/Western art (which is what I have mainly learned as my time as an art history major).

With the 2016 Met Gala theme being announced, I was ecstatic to learn that theme was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. I've been fascinated with all the applications computer programming is capable of for a couple of years now. My boyfriend is studying computer science so when I finally decided to take a course in it (in 2013), he was pretty happy that I ended up enjoying it. Recently I have been fascinated with how technology can be used in the fashion industry. Normally, you wouldn't think computer programming and fashion can intersect but when you learn to apply computer programming to fashion pieces, it really becomes unique and intriguing designs. When I first saw this, it was at a 3D printing exhibit in Toronto. I've heard about 3D printing in the past but this was the first time I was genuinely interested in the content. In one of the sections of this exhibit, it had a timeline of 3D printing. In 2010, designer, Iris Van Herpen unveiled the first 3D printed fashions. Van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer who collaborated with a U.K. architect, Daniel Widrig and a Belgian company, .MGX by Materialise to create 3D apparel. I thought it was SO interesting. The designs were incredibly unique and it was nothing like I've seen before. Below are examples of 3D printing in Van Herpen's past collection.

The second time I was interested in the fashion x technology intersection was during NYFW SS16. Zac Posen showed a dress that was in collaboration with Google's Made with Code; this dress was able to light up. The model, Coco Rocha looked stunning in the dress and it made me want to further my knowledge when it comes to computer programming. The applications it is capable of is endless so I'm really excited to see what designers come up with for the 2016 Met Gala since there are infinitely many possibilities.

Personally, I have a few thoughts in mind about what I would like to see on the red carpet, including:

  • Designs by Iris Van Herpen: She is the main reason I was fascinated by technology in fashion and she is constantly raising the bar and designing unique items that is not typically designed like you would normally think of when it comes to fashion.
  • LED dresses:A simple design concept by using an Arduino board but it definitely would stand out during the night - especially when it's complete darkness of course!
  • 3D Printing Dresses/Accessories: I'm not quite sure how comfortable 3D printing apparel can be (considering the 3D printed objects I've seen doesn't seem like the most comfortable thing in the world), it would be interesting to see celebrities having other 3D printed objects like accessories (for instance, clutches) or jewelry.
  • Hopefully you found this article to be informative and maybe you found some inspiration from it! I hope you're able to look at computer programming/technology is a new perspective. Also, if you're interested in learning more about computer programming, definitely check out codeacademy.com! It's basically Khan Academy but specifically for learning different programming languages. (Tip: if you want to learn one of the easier programming languages, start off with Python!)

    Leave a comment below telling me what kind of designs you're hoping to see on the red carpet at the 2016 Met Gala!

    To end this, here's a quote I found (in this article) said by Iris Van Herpen, “The first time I used 3D printing, it completely changed my thinking. It freed me from all physical limitations. Suddenly, every complex structure was possible and I could create more detail than I ever could by hand”

    Disclaimer: All photographs belong to Zimbio
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