Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan is showing a set of unusual creations, "Transformer" dresses that owe more to technology than haute couture. Following in the footsteps of Howard Hughes, who designed the underwire bra for actress Jane Russell, Chalayan teamed up with engineering firm 2D3D to create dresses that transformed themselves.
For example, one of the Chalayan dresses has a moving neckline; the decolletage of the dress changed from somewhat risque to very modest.
Each dress was designed to morph through three decades of fashion change. The moving neckline dress also uses vertical slats that puff out to become more revealing. Other dresses zip or unzip themselves and transform in a variety of intriguing ways (see video).
The engineering effort underlying the fashion was extensive. 2D3D director Rob Edkins described some of the technology:
Science fiction writer J.G. Ballard had a very similar idea for clothing that transformed itself in his 1970 short story Say Goodbye to the Wind. In the story, special bio-fabrics actually made clothing come alive for the wearer in exactly the same way as the Chalayan dresses:
Bio-fabric is still a science-fictional idea, but I wonder what Hussein Chalayan could make with these real-life fabric technologies:
- Chameleon T-Shirts With Electrochromic PolymersChameleon t-shirts that can mimic a background, or replay any patterns at will?
- Smart Yarn Made From Carbon NanofiberThe researchers created the yarn by growing a mat of fibres on a substrate, called a nanotube forest.
- Scentsory Bodysuit: Biometric FashionThe Scentsory Chameleon Bodysuit is a "smart second skin" with integrated printed organic opto-electronics and integrated flexible nano-genetic devices on textiles.
Read more about Chalayan design.
(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)