They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but in this case I bet a lot of guys would be open to claiming the same if they could get their hands on this luxury watch, which is valued at $5M.
The watch was crafted by Swiss watch manufacturer Hublot, owned by LVMH (naturally). Typically Hublot creates watches priced around $24,000, but this watch is definitely unique. After 14 months of work by 12 cutters and 5 setters all 1,282 diamonds were put into place to create this incredibly sparkly time piece.
I love when fashion illustrators collaborate with big brands on cool online marketing initiatives and tech products. The other day I was lucky enough to come across a small collection of iPhone cases designed by fashion illustrator Izak Zenou for Henri Bendel. The four-piece collection is super cute and right on trend with its bright colors. Each case is priced at $58 and perfect for any girl open to admitting her fashion addiction.
Technology has influenced fashion since the invention of the sewing machine. High-technology has been incorporated into the fashion industry in many ways. Fashion shows that were previously exclusive events are now streamed online. QR codes allow an enhanced buying experience, teenage bloggers are dictating styles and new fabrics and embedded technologies have practically converted garments into wearable computers. Here’s a list of five ways technology is currently shaping fashion.
1. Live streamed fashion shows
Fashion shows used to be exclusive events for the wealthy, fashionistas and journalists. Now companies like Burberry have turned their fashion shows into live events streamed to all their locations and onto a billboard-sized screen in Picadilly Circus. People can watch and buy the latest fashions directly from their smartphones via the Runway to Reality application.
Bloggers have become a powerful force in the fashion world. Teenage bloggers are in the front row for some of the biggest fashion shows around the world. The power they have to make or break a style is incredible. With their approving blog post, a new designer can become instantly famous. The blogger’s weapon of choice is the smartphone or electronic tablet. They command armies of buyers with disposable income who want to be on the cutting edge of fashion.
3. QR codes
QR codes are the latest form of barcodes. The main difference is these codes have built-in links to websites. By scanning the QR code on a garment, a buyer can be whizzed to a web page or mobile magazine with additional information on the product and styling suggestions. Other applications overlay text on the garment’s scanned image describing the fabric qualities and fine tailoring.
4. Online Fittings
For those who can’t get to the store, mobile platforms bring the store to them. These mobile platforms permit you to print a digitally coded photo of a ring, for example. Cut out the ring’s image, and put it on your hand. When you hold your hand up to your webcam, the software shows what the real ring would look like on you. Hair salons can also offer a 3-D view of how you’d look in a particular hairstyle before you go under the scissors.
5. High-tech clothing
Fabric batteries can power computers that are built-into jackets and coats. Advanced applications of this technology can lead to clothing that can charge MP3 devices or smartphones. Textile batteries can also be used to heat clothing. Flexible, wearable displays are on their way. Rather than color t-shirts, you’ll soon see animated t-shirts and other garments. Athletic garments will soon be equipped with heart monitors and pedometers.
Who knows what advances tomorrow will bring? One thing is for sure. If there’s a way for it to be applied to the highly competitive and ever-evolving fashion world, somebody will figure out a way to use it.
Philip is a writer and fashion enthusiast, working in association with Aston Royal Fine Jewelers. Feel free to browse their selection of birthstone rings, and contact them with any questions you might have!
Last weekend my parents and I visited my sister, Caroline, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to see her end of year fashion show. After years of seeing Caroline construct and model clothing, this was not only her first runway show I could attend, but also the debut of her first piece of wearable technology.
Caroline has been sewing for as long as anyone in our family can remember. During elementary school, our mom taught Caroline how to sew by making dresses together for Caroline’s American Girl Dolls. By the time Caroline entered middle school, she was teaching herself how to reconstruct vintage clothing and sewing patterns, and while in high school, Caroline completed summer programs in art and fashion at Cornell University and Marist College.
Caroline is currently finishing her junior year of college in Textile & Apparel Design. Last year, because hardly any of her pieces made the school fashion show (due to not being an upperclassman) Caroline hosted her own show instead, complete with more than 10 models and two live bands. For the past few semesters Caroline has been a contributor to College Fashionista (a blog focused on college street style), and, very recently Caroline returned from a 10 day trip to China sponsored by Kohl’s Department Stores.
It’s certainly exciting to have a designer in the family! And I couldn’t be prouder to share my exclusive interview with her about her light-up dress “Limelight”.
You usually do period costume pieces, so how does this dress fit into your aesthetic?
I myself wear a lot of feminine, historical-inspired outfits. I tell a new story every day with my clothing and play a different girl, if you will. I know who I am so my clothing doesn’t influence my behavior, but depending on my mood, what I am doing, and which side of me that I want to express for that day I pick out an outfit. My multi-dimensional self could dress like a flirty, 60’s mod gal one minute and then the next day show my more prim and proper side with a Victorian jacket and lace dress. Going into costumes someday is perfect for me because I can tell a story with the clothing that I make or style for others and have an audience enjoy it!
What was your inspiration for the light-up dress?
I was inspired by the ever-creative and talented techno duo Daft Punk most of all, who have worn light up clothing as well as their famous helmets on stage. Seeing the light-up dress Katy Perry wore to the Met Gala last year made me realize that while this form of wearable technology is very modern, it can still be done in a more feminine way than a lot of people are doing it. I guess it’s the old-fashioned, romantic side of me coming through when I say that, though I’m all for being futuristic and inventive! While I was working on the dress I watched the Project Runway All Stars light-up challenge, just by chance, and was further inspired by it. Most of the designers on the show went harder and more edgy with their designs but I loved how soft and beautiful Austin Scarlett’s piece was. He ended up wining! I’d like to see more people do light-up clothing that is girly and pretty.
How hard was it to construct?
The hardest part of “Limelight” was figuring out a design that worked with the wire, which I solved by finding a sheer fabric with a vine design on it in white embroidery. I ran the wire along certain sections of the vine so it really became part of the fabric when you got up close, and from far away in the darkness you could just see the squiggly lines and not much else. It was meant to be an interesting juxtaposition depending where you were standing or what the lighting situation was. Constructing the dress was like any other garment, but it was more tedious than difficult to hand-sew on all of the 30+ feet of light-up wire with invisible thread.
When did you make it and how long did it take?
I designed the piece before my spring break in a night with a sketch and Illustrator flat because it was for an independent study on wearable technology. Over the course of three weeks after spring break I made several looks for our annual fashion show, but in total I’d say that my light-up dress, “Limelight”, took three full days to construct because it was completely patterned, lined, and had such tedious hand work at the end attaching the wire. This is about the typical time it takes me to make and pattern most garments.
What was the overall reaction?
I think a lot of people were surprised that it wasn’t a really modern and edgy piece, but in a good way. They were pleasantly surprised I’d say because it wasn’t what they expected when I told them about it. It was inspired by feminine 30’s silhouettes and the sheer white fabric that I found fit perfectly with my design idea. I had a few people tell me it looked vaguely like a wedding dress, but this was because it was a long white dress. They certainly changed their minds when the lights were off and my piece was lit up!
Would you consider making more pieces of wearable technology? What’s next?
I definitely want to construct at least one more piece of light-up clothing this summer, though it requires expensive materials!
I would like to made a really mod piece and shape the outline of a collar and other shirt-dress elements out of the light-up wire so that the piece pops. It would definitely be more modern than my last piece. I would also be interested in collaborating with an engineer to create clothing pieces that move and transform, or even show pictures and video.
Caroline will be spending the summer in Connecticut and working in the wardrobe department of the Westport Country Playhouse before moving to New York City in the fall to attend FIT for her senior year.
Created by John Spatcher from thousands of white LED lights, and worn by Artec pro snowboarder William Hughes, the video of this glowing white suit in action was shot by Jacob Sutton, a photographer and filmmaker who’s worked for fashion brands like Burberry and Hermès. This video was shot over the course of three nights on the slopes of France’s Rhône-Alpes.
Thanks to my friend Sharon Vaknin for passing this along! Somehow I feel that I won’t be as well dressed while snowboarding on the slopes of Heavenly this weekend.
3D printing, basically how a machine layers a material (or materials) into a pre-determined shape, has been around for some years now and there are a good number of competing brands out there. In fact, the idea to produce “3D printed” items began in the 1908s.
But not until the past decade have artists begun to created 3D shoes. If you had access to a 3D printer, what would you create?
Both fashion and electronics are each such a part of the music industry, but things get quirky when the three converge on stage. Here are some of my favorite ways designers have managed to help music stars really light up the stage:
For their Alive 2007 tour, Daft Punk toured the world in clothing designed by Enlighted Designs (run by President and Chief Fashion Engineer Janet Cooke Hansen). The outfits “glowed in the dark” by way of EL wire that was strategically placed to define the look for each member of the group. And on each jacket, the Daft Punk logo was illuminated with the help of roughly 300 LEDs.
Wearable Tech Artist Moritz Waldemeyer created LED embellished jackets for the US band OK Go to use during a tour. The jackets debuted on November 22, 2007 and according to Waldemeyer, “LED lights embedded in their jackets run through a sequence that makes up the letters O,K,G,O – like a Vegas slot-machine scrolling through its symbols to spell the band’s name”. (Waldemeyer is also famous in the fashion world for collaborating with Fashion Designer Hussein Chalayan on a very sparkly Swarovski and LED infused collection.)
Enlighted designs created colorful clothing for M.I.A.’s lead singer and back up dancers to rock on stage at Coachella 2009.
Katy Perry rocked a silk chiffon gown created by CuteCircuit that was unlike any other couture gown at the MET Costume Institute Gala that night- this one light up in rainbow colors from the work of more than 3,000 LEDs.
Exactly one week after Katy Perry dazzled the paparazzi in New York City, Rihanna gave a performance at London’s O2 Arena in a black dress decorated with hundreds of tiny glowing red lights. The creative brains behind this gown? Fashion Designer Alexandre Vauthier and Wearable Tech Artist Moritz Waldemeyer.
As fashion bloggers, we look for great fashion at affordable prices. Unfortunately, most times high fashion comes at a substantial price tag. Some of us get emphatically crafty to achieve the cultivated couture look we seek. By making adroit changes to items (sometimes slightly pass their prime) they become stylishly spectacular! For instance, my favorite links this week all happen to be DIY projects! These bloggers made tutorials for their colorblock hair accessories, faux Phillip Lim slacks and my favorite, DIY sparkle glitter boots!
THE IFB WEEKLY ROUNDUP: LINKS À LA MODE: OCTOBER 20TH
PLEASE READ IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine
Mood rings are so 1999, but have you seen the new way to express how you’re feeling using jewelry?
I’ve been seeing images of emoticon rings pop up all over the web lately (ok, Twitter, Pinterest, and other such sites) and it turns out the collection, by Chao and Eero, is called Signs.
According to the designers’ site, the inspiration was from how much we now use email and mobile phone messages, and though words are different across languages, certain symbols have become universally accepted.