电子晶体 Diànzǐ jīngtǐ
In the future of wearable tech fabrics, threads and technology will be increasingly integrated. Consequently one of the main concerns in wearable tech is that its progress in society will be a step back in the trend of creating sustainable fashion. At the same time fashion is wondering how to integrate technology in a way that's sexy, aesthetic and high quality. Our project proposes to embedding technology in salt crystals, that can be coated for the duration of their use, but easily dissolved once the product is discarded.
Using couture leather and transparent fabrics, this ball gown covered in sustainable light crystals is a play of the light and a juxtaposition of heavy and light materials. The fascinating aesthetic of an illuminated crystal embroidered gown is an aesthetic would not look out of place on any red carpet.
The idea of making a gown which houses technology can be a heavy and cumbersome process. The current technology available encumbers us with wires. But what if you could have a beautiful bespoke gown and the embellishment was less permanent, even changeable? What if it could be grown, dissolved and grown again? the idea of growing elements of an outfit is becoming a reality and we will experiment with this process through material innovation and testing, embedding the technology into crystals which will create an organic alternative to Swarovski, but create a gown with this magical gleaming effect. Creating an visual which grows from our existing aesthetic understanding ofa heavily embroidered gown only adds to the mystery and magic when the gown comes alive with its own internal light source from within the crystals themselves.
We have chosen to make the dress in leather, which is an incredibly intuitive material as it is essentially skin. Despite out efforts to tame it through processing, leather retains character, and no two pieces are alike. It also has memory. When you compare leather with etextiles you find there are similarities to be found: Circuits, resistors, voltage currents are absolute and mathematical and are often approached thus. But once we add the extra dynamic of fabric it becomes a much more intuitive process.
We have a unique opportunity to create this leather from scratch. working with the R&D team at Ecco Leather in The Netherlands, we have access to the worlds largest and most advanced R&D facility allowing us to make a material perfectly suited to grow the crystals and make the dress as stable and integrated as possible.Ecco is also seen unofficially as 'the worlds most eco friendly tannery' developing award winning water systems and practices which set industry standards in leather tanning.
Drawing all these ideas together is the unifying concept that clothing is meant to be lived in and serve a purpose, whether it is a completely impractical red carpet garment which empowers the wearer or exists to be completely practical and functional. The ideal garment will do both.
Working in the newly emerging field of wearable technology not only means that intricate and delicate techniques are intrinsic to the work - which is also an integral aspect of a ball gown - but also that there is huge opportunity to shape how we attribute value to materials in this newly emerging field of wearable tech. As wearables become more integrated into our lives we are entering a new era of craftsmanship. We wish to use this dress to help shape our attitude towards the future of wearables by flawlessly combining the best of the old and the new.
The function of the leds can be used in different ways and can reflect whatever message the wearer wishes to convey. They can play a subtle light pattern purely for aesthetics, or they can convey a message by responding to a hashtag or a meaningful timing, ie x happens every y minutes. In principle the dress is a carrier of information, though the meaning is only known to the person wearing it. Whether other people understand will be up to the wearer to explain.
In a world where resources are becoming more scarce, people are beginning to think of investment pieces rather than throwaway clothing. We think creating pieces to inspire and encourage this sort of thinking are important as we move forwards into the growing world of wearable tech. Our awareness of materials should be inherent to our choices when we adorn our bodies. Using materials from natural sources
addressable eTextile sample:
Simple eTextile circuit
addressable wired sample with human hair on tulle
addressable wired LEDs
work in progress