Wearables are making their mark in the world of fashion and in a big way!
If you are unsure as to what ‘wearables’ actually relates to, it can be any type of wearable device – even clothing – with smart electronic devices incorporated.
This means of course that it is no longer about the smartphone in your pocket or smartwatch on your wrist but clothes and footwear made of ‘smart’ fabrics that can do amazing things, even changing colour. The fashionistas are getting excited about the ability to work with wearables, producing clothing that is not only stunning to look at but exciting to wear. Definitely a step into the future, fashion designers are now able to be additionally creative, pushing out beyond the barriers to produce wearable fashion that is both artistic and visually stunning. With the whole world going digital, it is about time that the fashion world took note!
Look to the runway
Parish Fashion Week kicked off on the 25th September and it already has on show some futuristic designs that really do make us feel like we have gone ‘back to the future’! Look at the garments being paraded on the catwalk and you can be forgiven for thinking that you have zoomed forward into the year 3000. Whilst the years to come still have much to deliver in terms of technology, its impact upon the fashion world is not as far off as we may believe.
The 2018 Parish Fashion Week has done much to push out the boats, providing Snapchat filters to show the runway experience on the smartphones of all interested parties. Top favourites are the Insta-famous unicorn trend, the KiraKira app, paillette dresses and wildly iridescent jackets. Artists like Balmain and Lanvin have cleverly combined the passion of art with smart technology, taking the world of fashion forward in leaps and bounds into fantastic new territory.
Tech fashion and the High Street
But how is this going to impact upon people in the High Street and what types of apparel may the majority of us be able to purchase in the years ahead? With more and more clothing producers jumping onto the bandwagon when it comes to wearables, smart clothing is going to be able to do so much more than simply cover our bodies. As well as looking suitably ‘cool’, our clothing will become highly ‘techie’ and able to measure our heart rate and emotions, plus a whole lot more.
Whilst not all of the garments that follow may be seen on the Paris runway, they sure are some of the best tech garments around at the moment.
• Nadi X yoga pants – straight from the designers of Sydney, these yoga pants come complete with built-in haptic vibrations. Pulsing at the ankles, knees and hips, they encourage you to hold certain positions or move. Link by Bluetooth to your phone and gain additional instruction.
• Polar Team Pro Shirt – here you have a smart compression shirt. Capturing the heart rate on the front and with a back pocket for a GPS sensor, wearers can track motion and heart rate metrics. Integrating with the Polar’s Team Pro system enables users to connect with live training data whilst monitoring levels of fitness.
• Lumo Run – here you have smart running shorts with a sensor that monitors all kinds of metrics including pelvic rotation and ground contact time. Supporting coaching in real time, feedback is fed through headphones to assist runners and avoid injury.
• Google’s Project Jacquard – welcome to Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket. With touch and gesture sensitive areas within the sleeves, users can interact with music and map apps. Imagine being able to get rid of phone calls with a swipe or get direction, all without a phone in sight!
• Spinali Design smart bikini – this time the French have come up with a UV protect swimsuit collection. A medallion-style waterproof sensor stops wearers from staying under the sun for too long. Enter your skin type into the related smartphone app and it will monitor the temperature, warning you when to go indoors or apply more protection.
Style still rules
So, as you can see, there are plenty of tech-centred clothes coming onto the market but for most buyers, style is still very important. And this seems to be the message coming from Paris Fashion Week. Wearers of wearables still want to look beautiful and stand out from their peers, no matter what sort of technology they are displaying within their garments. Designers have to be clear that when they design technology-advanced clothing, it is about much more than just creating a functional device.
It seems likely that the stylish appearance of the garment will be at the top of the list whilst the technology included will be secondary. Surveys carried out have found that buyers who want to get involved in the wearables market want developers to put a real focus on aesthetics instead of just getting carried away with the technical elements. Whilst combining functionality, fashion and technology may not be an easy task, it is the way of the future.
App development meets fashion
Buyers of fashionable wearable technology want something different that will make them stand out from the crowd, valuing style and versatility. If wearables are to be multi-functional, then they need to take heed of the fact that the user will need different apparel for a variety of needs such as garments for the yoga studio and everyday clothing for the office.
Wearable technology and garments are definitely one of the big things in the fashion world and the Paris Fashion Week of 2018 is doing much to illustrate this. When it comes to app development, what creators of these types of fashions need to note is that when they leave the runway, wearers don’t want to have to carry around heavy or unsightly tech equipment on their wrists or around their neck, just in order to power the clothes they’re in.
When wearables become fashionable the focus has to be on how the buyer will look in the real world, and not only when strutting their stuff in front of the runway crowds.