Regent tweet - Future of fashion by Olivia Solon (Associate Editor at Wired UK Online)

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Presentation by Olivia Solon, Associate Editor of Wired Magazine.

Presentation by Olivia Solon, Associate Editor of Wired Magazine.

More in: Technology , Design
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  • Hello – my name ’ s Olivia Solon and I am Associate Editor at I am so excited to be here. Thank you very much for having me and thanks to Sister PR for organising all of this – it ’ s going to be a wonderful day. There is something so reassuring about meeting fellow girl geeks.
  • Given that this is a day of shopping and treats on Regent Street, I wanted to talk about how technology and science have influenced fashion and textiles industries – in terms of new materials and production processes.
  • Apologise for my enormous moon face appearing on the RegentTweets website. I am bigger than the apple store.
  • For those who don ’ t know, Wired is a magazine and website that focuses on the future. There is a big misconception that Wired is all about technology. It ’ s not at all. It ’ s about tech, science, ideas, design, art, architecture. It ’ s strapline is “ The Future as it Happens ” I think the website has traditionally been a little skewed towards handset reviews and gaming purely because of the interests of the journalists
  • I think it ’ s fair to say that tech and science journalism is a bit of a sausage fest. Men outnumber women by a huge factor – just as with technology industries. At Wired, until last month i was the only girl on the editorial team. As such I feel really strongly about getting more women into the website and magazine.
  • Wired is making a lot of effort to celebrate women in tech, science and business. Evident in the fact that Facebook ’ s Joanna Shields was nominated to top the Wired 100 – annual list of innovators. But then we have covers like this (actually US Wired) which is less great and alienates female readers – US WIRED
  • Something I am very aware of is this horrible idea of marketers trying to target women by painting their products pink. Nokia ad on Facebook earlier this week inviting people to “ Pinkify ” their facebook. Pink is freedom. IS IT REALLY? I am not a Pinkist. But find it offensive that pink is ONLY colour that is used to market to women. It suggests that every other handset – be it black or silver – is targeted at men and that women can only appreciate technology if it matches their nail varnish.
  • Hopefully today, I ’ ll be able to talk about stuff that is relevant and interesting to girl geeks So. I ’ ll get off my soap box and start talking about what I ca NB – a lot of the innovations we ’ ll see have been developed by researchers as opposed to fashion designers – but you can imagine the potential.
  • I don ’ t know if anyone remembers global hypercolour? They were clothes that changed colour with heat. When I was a child I thought these were the coolest things ever, but on reflection, most people strive to make sure that their clothes don ’ t show up sweat, so having clothes that change colour near all your sweaty bits seems like a disaster. However, there are some cool technologies that are similar
  • Amy Winters – Autumn Winter 2011 collection The inks transform in colour outside during the day and glow vivid blue under UV light which takes the wearer seamlessly from day-to-night.
  • Spray fabric – unwoven, imperial college Spray comprises of short fibres that combine with ploymers to bind together and a solvent that delivers the fabric in liquid, which evaporates
  • Fabric can give a clothing a bigger purpose than aesthetics   Karen Ingham  has created a range of clothing covered with a nectar-like food source that attracts and nourishes bees, butterflies and other such pollinating insects 80 percent of crop species  depend on insect pollination  to some e These digitally enhanced images are then printed onto fabrics which are then treated with pollinator food sources which replicate nectars (sucrose, fructose and Xantham gum). You may well feel like one of the commenters on this story who said: “ worst clothing idea ever. What's next, shark-attracting swimsuits? ”
  • BioCouture = Suzanne Lee research project from Central Saint Martins investigating the use of microbial-cellulose, grown in a laboratory with the aim of growing a dress in a vat of liquid Some bacteria spin microfibres of cellulose during fermentation, which form a dense layer which can be harvested Take a sugary liquid – add culture of bacterial cellulose, yeast and other microorganisms. The bacteria feed on the sugar and spin fine threads of cellulose. This forms a layer of fabric that can be dyed and molded Creepy skin-like appearance that Buffalow Bill proud. But one day you might be able to pull a fully formed dress out of a vat of liquid
  • 3D printing – technology that has been around for a while but available only to large-scale manufacturers or designers. However, technology has got a lot cheaper. This is a home kit – but it ’ s done no a more industrial scale
  • What is 3D printing? it basically does what it says on the tin. A printer jet which delivers molten plastic or similar builds up obejcts in 3D, layer by layer. Imagine a builder laying down the bricks of the shell of the house. It means you can create a lot of very intricate shapes or ones that would have been impossible or at least very expensive to create using traditional manufacturing processes – injection moulding.
  • Series of circles joined together by springs – thread-thin connections. With a minimum wall thickness of 0.7 mm, it is possible to make working springs and almost thread-like connections. Looks pretty ugly, but it shows what is possible
  • Some of the things we have seen require you to have an understanding of 3D design software. There is a service on a 3D printing website called Shapeways that allows you to draw a sketch in 2D on a piece of paper, upload it and they will convert it into 3D and print it off for you.
  • This is all tied into a trend of mass-customisation – the idea that you can use computer-aided manufacturing systems to produce customised output – so you have the low costs of mass production and the flexibility of individual customisation. This means customised clothes are no longer the domain of just the superrich
  • Data is being used in beautiful and surprising ways – German Company Trikoton records your voice via its website and produces “ coded ” sweaters, vests, scarves or leggins Subtly unique – not got your name or face branded all over it But it ’ s personal and you know noone else has the same on
  • On one hand just wearing data, but here you actually combine chips and circuits into your costume Microchips are getting smaller, sturdier and more powerful Another burgeoning area is wearable tech. Imogen Heap took this very literally with her “ Twitter Dress ”   # twitdress . Wore to Grammy awards It had an oversized necklace which was a digital sign showing tweets from fans Her handbag contained an iPhone featuring photographs that people were sending to her online. Her parasol, it seems, was purely a fashion accessory. She explained that she created the dress so that her fans could be part of the ceremony. “ I just thought it ’ d be nice for them to come with me so I ’ ve got a live Twitter feed from them," she said.
  • Electroencepholagraph technology (EEG) has been used for years in medicine, but recently it has become affordable. Emotive has created a headset for around £200 which you can use to control your computer using nothing but your mind.
  • Japanese company Neurowear is harnessing the existing EEG technology in a more creative way. Check this out. Not many applications outside of fancy dress party, Accessories communicate -- but just as we become more expressive on social networks / Twitter, one can imagine a time when we might use our clothes to communciate even more than we already do
  • Another piece by Rainbow winters – this is a sound reactive dress It has electroluminescent panels which light up with the music Taking advantage of fact that electronics are getting smaller, more powerful and more durable Doesn ’ t have to ca Lights up to the beat of the music
  • Dress that would complete itself with colour in a unique way for every purchaser   Dutch esigner  Anouk Wipprecht created a dress controlled by pumps ink which are slowly transforming the ink into display to make patterns around the body. The dress includes valves that are controlled to pump ink slowly when the piece is worn, creating interesting patterns and a one-of-a-kind outfit for every wearer


  • 1. Future of Fashion Olivia Solon | 25 June 2011 @olivia_solon
  • 2. What am I talking about?
    • My background
    • Women/Tech
    • How tech and science affect fashion
  • 3. Apology
  • 4. Background
  • 5. Technology/Science Industries SAUSAGE-FEST
  • 6. Women in Wired
  • 7. Pink stinks
  • 8. Fashion futures
    • New materials
    • 3D printing
    • Mass-customisation
    • Wearable tech
  • 10. Rainbow Winters
  • 11. Fabrican
  • 12. The Pollinator Frocks
  • 13. Growable fabric: BioCouture
  • 15. 3D printing
  • 16. 3D Printed Bikini
  • 17. Shapeways: 2D to 3D earrings
  • 19. Trikoton: Voice Knitting Collection
  • 21. Using existing technologies
  • 22.  
  • 23. Thunderstorm Dress
  • 24. Thunderstorm dress
  • 25. Self-painting dress
  • 26. Thank you
    • [email_address]
    • @olivia_solon