The World’s Most Expensive Watch

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.

In March of this year, it was sold to world famous watch retailer The Hour Glass Singapore.


Fashionista Friendly iPhone Cases by Izak for Henri Bendel

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.

DIY Glitter iPhone Case

Because my beloved J.Crew glitter iPhone case was in tatters and glitter was coming off everywhere, I decided to do a little craft project to give it a much needed makeover.

J.Crew iPhone case before project
Step 1: Shred iPhone case of fishnet layer
Step 2: Paint two coats of acrylic paint onto case and let dry for at least 1.5 hours.
Step 3: Layer a thin coat of glue intermixed with glitter and let dry for at least 20 minutes.
Steps 4 & 5: After you’re satisfied with your glitter application, touch up sides with paint to cover any excess glitter. Finally, apply one top coat of sealant to keep the glitter and paint in place.

Now, not only is your iPhone looking sharp, but the glitter won’t end up all over your hands and face when you go to use your phone.

I’m calling my iPhone’s new look “The Sparkler”  in honor of July 4th. Happy Independence Day, everyone!

Five Ways Technology Has Shaped Fashion

By Philip J Reed, on behalf of Aston Royal

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.

Onlookers at the live streamed Burberry show during LFW in Feb. 2011

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.

2. Blogs

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.

Silk scarf created by Crystal J. Robinson

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!

Limelight, a Student Designer’s First Wearable Technology Garment

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!

I was lucky enough to model this dress after the show!

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.

View more pictures from “Escape” over on the Pretty Innovative fan page and check out some of Caroline’s past work on her blog.

Nighttime Snowboarder Glows in LED Studded Suit

I’ve seen LEDs worn many times by music artists, but never before on a nighttime snowboarder.

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.

Wearable Technology at Its Worst

Anyone see the most recent episode of Modern Family? I completely laughed out loud when I saw Lily’s light up flower girl dress… and then I saw the rest of the bridal party.

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I always thought I’d want some sort of LEDs incorporated into my wedding, but I am definitely thinking twice after this show.

You may also like:

Shedding Some Light on Wearable Electronics and the Music Industry

Something Old, Something New: An Interview with Wearable Tech Designer Joanne Hodge

Fashion and Technology, as Woven Together by Lynne Bruning

3D Printed Shoes

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?

2006: Simple 3D shoe created by Sjors Bergmans.
2008: Children's shoes created by Adrian Bowyer, University of Bath, UK on RepRap 3D printer.
March 2010: Couture shoes by Pauline Van Dongen and Future of Creation as part of Dongen's Morphogenesis collection. The shoes were on display at The Amsterdam World Fashion Center last year.