As NYFW is coming to an end for another season we look at some of the technologically-enhanced designs and accessories that paraded the catwalks.
Coding on top of the agenda
With our lives becoming more and more connected, no wonder the importance of coding is significantly rising. And fashion seems keen to put in on top of the agenda too in order to get young girls and teens interested. Couple of months ago, supermodel – cookie maker and (recently) vlogger – Karlie Kloss launched the Kode with Karlie scholarship with the Flatiron School. The scholarship gave 21 young women the resources to become leaders in technology. As Karlie puts it ‘Code is the language of the future and it’s crucial that young women have a voice and a stake of what the future looks like”.
This September, all sorts of fashion and technology giants have made this a priority. Google, fashion heavyweight Zac Posen and wearable technology designer & coder Maddy Maxey from The Crated combined forces for Google’s ‘Made with Code’ project. The collaboration saw the birth of an LED dress, coded by Maxey and debuted as part of the ZAC – Zac Posen Spring 2016 collection at New York Fashion Week. The collaboration aims to encourage young women to get into coding and show that it can go way beyond the screen. Naturally, the LED dress was modelled by high-fashion model, tech-lover and Posen’s close friend Coco Rocha.
New beauty & fashion standards
Chromat's designer Becca McCharen is somewhat an expert in breaking fashion laws and setting new standards for beauty and designs. This is the reason why when Chromat pieces are on the runway everyone stops and stares. Following her AW show, Becca McCharen’s SS16 runway featured again seamless inclusion of two plus size models, Sabina Karlsson and Denise Bidot.
When it comes to merging fashion and technology successfully, the brand is also on top. This year Chromat presented two technologically advanced pieces made for empowering the body in quite a literal way. Among Chromat’s signature baby doll dresses and structural pencil skirts we saw the debut of The Adrenaline Dress and The Aeros Sports Bra, both powered by Intel’s Curie - a tiny, low-power base for responsive consumer and industrial wearables.
The Adrenaline Dress features 3D-printed panels and an interlinked, carbon-fiber framework that changes based on the wearer's adrenaline levels. "When the garment senses adrenaline, the dress' framework mimics the fight-or-flight mode and extends the wearer's sensory system to form an imposing shape."
While The Adrenaline Dress is more for the haute couture world, Chromat’s Aeros Sports Bra is something we can see women using daily. The functional bra responds to changes in perspiration, respiration, and body temperature. The piece can sense heat and sweat and opens vents to help cool the wearer down.
Technical details & sustainable materials
Fresh from the INTERLACED stage and runway, where Ada Zanditon and Nik Thakkar spoke and presented their wearable tech piece – The Narrative Jacket – the London design duo headed to take NYFW by storm. The designers presented their SS16 collection alongside other budding brands House of Cannon and Daniel Silverstain as part of the annual Gen Art Fashion Show. Gen Art has been supporting up-and-coming fashion designers through an incubator program that celebrates film, fashion, music and visual art over the last two decades.
Ada + Nik were chosen out of approximately 1,000 applicants from the top 50 fashion schools in the world. After their stunning NYFW presentation, the designers will also receive a one-year admission to the incubation program with Gen Art, as well as an opportunity to refine their label's branding and messaging with the help of its knowledgeable, experienced staff.
We also understand that the label is working on an exciting project to get young designers experimenting with technology. Stay tuned for more details!
On-going tech affair
Rebecca Minkoff has continuously positioned as a label catering for the young and tech-savvy women. From its smart flagship store in SoHo NY to tech accessories, Rebecca & Uri Minkoff continue to innovate in the fashion tech space. At NYFW, the brand unveiled a line of technology-enabled accessories, in partnership with Case-Mate, including iPhone-charging wallet and one of the first designer bands for the Apple Watch which are available to order now. On the Apple Watch front, the big news was also the tech giant’s collaboration with luxury brand Hermes for a line of high-end bands for the smart watch. Whether the designer collaborations will be ongoing or one-off stunts (and profitable!) is yet to be seen.
Overall not a bad season for New York when it comes to pushing technological innovation on the catwalks. Roll on, London Fashion Week!