DareDroid 2.0, drink dispensing dress (via eSeL.at - Joanna Pianka)


Fashion is just girls playing dress up, right? The highest fashion would rarely ever make it to a person's weekly rotation. Often this level of style is for designers to play with concepts, usually resulting in garments that are priced right outside of logic. These are the common perspectives of an elitist world where few really get to participate and so people like myself are quick to dismiss or criticize.



In Vienna, Austria, there is a group of fashion designers who are out to prove that fashion is more than dress up or esoteric art. At the "Technosensual" exhibition, open now until September 2nd and free to the public, works are being displayed that incorporate technology into the extravagant clothing being displayed.



One can interpret the works simply as interactive pieces with sensors and motors, but dig a little deeper, and one can find that the designers raise questions and comments about contemporary human life as it relates to scientific progress.



Body Speaker (via eSeL.at - Joanna Pianka & Karina Van Heck)


For example, a work called the BODY SPEAKER, by Karina Van Heck, incorporates microphones, in strategic places on clothing, that pick up bodily noises that are then amplified and remixed into your own musical composition.



Holy Dress (via Melissa Coleman and Leonie Smelt)


Designers Melissa Coleman and Leonie Smelt created an even more revealing piece called the Holy Dress  that uses voice-stress analysis to catch someone in the middle of telling a lie. A geometric arrangement of copper tubes surround the slim white dress, that stays white until it detects you are lying, at which point it starts to light up and delivers a small shock to the deceiver.



You know the feeling when someone asks you a question you cannot answer? Similar to the feeling you get when seeing that secret, special someone, you blush and get flustered, but usually no one outside you knows. Of course, you know it.  Phillips Design tapped into this universal feeling and physiological expression using galvanic sensors, heart rate and breathing monitors to detect this very moment. These signals are sent to 18 miniature projectors that change the color of the dress accordingly.




Taiknam Hat (via eSeL.at - Joanna Pianka)

The Taiknam Hat, a couture hat, is not just a oversized bundle of feathers. Inside the head piece are antenna that detects surrounding radio signals, and sends what it snoops to an accompanying computer. The computer then moves the feathers in response to the intensity with hidden motors. Not practical, but quite kinetic .


intamacy 2 dress.jpg

Intamacy 2.0 (via eSeL.at - Joanna Pianka)


Other pieces are more emphatic of our scientific capabilities and our lives immersed deep in technological advances. A dress called Intimacy 2.0, uses conductive liquid crystal foil that changes from opaque to transparent with the help of a small electric current. If you are not comfortable enough for Intimacy 2.0, the designer group called Modern Nomads or MoNo created a dress called DAREDROID2.0 that robotically makes cocktails.



It is clear that fashion has the potential to be as interesting and intriguing as a philosophical idea or scientific device.  The question now is will regular people listen and what will we learn from exhibitions like Technosensual that demonstrate the creativity, intelligence and underlying similarity between all humans.