Wearable Tech – The Future of Fashion

- - Technology

Wearable Tech – technological advancements that you can wear – are the future of fashion. Though most of us are familiar with advancements like the Nike+ FuelBand and the much anticipated iWatch, imagine charging your iphone in your in your chic black shift dress using the energy of the sun. Designers, scientists and visionaries around the world are developing fabrics and incorporating mechanisms in their garments which are changing the way we look at fashion and how we view the usefulness of the clothing we wear. 

Wearable Solar believes in harnessing the sun’s energy to enhance our experience (and wardrobe). This start up company has developed technology to make lightweight wired garments that enable the wearer to charge a smartphone up to 50 percent if worn in the sun for a full hour. Designer Rainbow Winters has amassed a list of projects involving garments that respond to light, sound and movement. Even Tommy Hilfiger has launched jackets for both men and women with removable solar panels and electronic charging stations.

Take a look at the mesmerizing video below. Designer Ying Gao has developed garments using eye-tracking technology. She has created a set of dresses that move when someone is looking at them – when the garment is gazed at for a time, tiny motors move parts of it in patterns.

NuMetrix has developed a sports bra monitor which tracks the heart rate for the wearer. Weather proofing, sweat proofing and activity tracking technology are popular trends in athletic wear which are also being applied to ready-to-wear  garments shown on the runway.

At the University of Fashion, we were thrilled to discover the Wearable Technology Lab at the University of Minnesota – a think tank for students interested in work that “explores the potential of technology as a dynamic medium in fashion and apparel design.” University of Minnesota students are “using subtle actuators (vibrating motors, shape-memory alloys) and LED illumination, responsive physical reactions that are embedded into garments. These garments shiver, flutter, pulse, glow, and crawl in response to environmental changes, body signals, or touch.” Sound exciting? We thought so.

As we look toward the future of fashion, we believe in building on the past. In order for new developments in fashion to be “wearable,” they must fit the body. At the University of Fashion, we look forward to providing a solid foundation for our students in draping, pattern making and sewing, so that as designers discover ways to incorporate technological advancements within our clothing, we can rest assured that fit and technique will not be sacrificed. Interested in giving a strong foundation in fashion design this holiday season? Use discount code HOLIDAYS2014 when your purchase a  monthly subscription to the University of Fashion and receive your first month for only $9.95!

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Kara Laricks is a regular contributor to the University of Fashion. She’s also a New York based women's wear and accessories designer. As the first winner of NBC's Fashion Star, Kara has designed collections for H&M, Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue. Her masculine meets feminine line, Kara Laricks, debuted at New York Fashion Week in 2012 and her S/S 2013 collection sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue. Kara's designs have been featured on the Today Show and HBO's True Blood as well as covered in Women's Wear Daily and on Style.com. Kara holds Master's degrees in both Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Kansas and in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in San Francisco. An educator turned designer, Kara is dedicated to supporting emerging designers and inspiring others to follow where dreams lead.