Though there isn’t yet a real market for everyday wearable technological items, a new way of combining fashion and technology appeared recently.
Studio Roosegaarde – “social design lab for interactive art, fashion and architecture” – is Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde’s project, who explains that INTIMACY 2.0 explores the relation between intimacy and technology in a way that both the idea of intimacy and exposure are present on a direct and personal level.
The dress, available in both black and white, is made out of leather and opaque “smart e-foils” that are connected to LEDs and almost invisible electronic parts. Thus, the results of encounters and personal experiences can be rendered with technology. Gradually, as the pulse of the person wearing the dress accelerates, it becomes transparent. This elevated heart rate can be caused by several factors, like stress or shame for example, or physical exercise and even drug consumption. But Roosegaarde created this dress specially to expose the erotic excitement of the wearer. The first version of his artistic creation, INTIMACY, was constructed with only e-foils, which meant that emotions made the dress entirely see-through – a direct hint to ineluctable sexual needs. The second version, 2.0, is a lot more decent as the exposed areas are compositionally more subtle. The designer is convinced that, along with the release of the 3.0 version – which is planned to be sketched together with couture designers -, this type of garment will be really successful in the fashion industry and will appeal to a broad audience, both male and female. Roosegaarde is also working on a suit that reacts to lies – another side of the intrinsic human character.
He defines his artistic style as “techno poetry”. As a concept, it is a very suggestive term to define his work, which tends to reach an area that is of increasing interest for fashion designers in these last few decades. No doubt, fashion and technology can create objects of real artistic value that also have a functional aspect. But this tendency can under no circumstance end up in the utilitarian area of fashion, which is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Even if in the near future technology will become an integrated part of mainstream fashion, the concept-works will rather remain in galleries than on the streets, thus receiving true meaning as “techno poetry”.