Technology and fashion have one fundamental thing in common and that is the fact they’re both moving forward all of the time. Technology changes the things we wear such as shoes with more comfortable features and coats with better wind and rain resistant features, but there is always room to progress even further. Read on to find out which recent innovations could shape the future of fashion and clothing in general.
The much anticipated Apple Watch was launched just a few weeks ago in hope it will kick-start a huge appetite for wearable technology, or more specifically the smart watch. To complement its handy features such as the voice command and connectivity to your phone, tablet or mac, the watch comes in a choice of styles to give it a fashionable and unique element.
For men especially, a timepiece can be their most treasured possession; usually they last for many years and become heir looms. Watches generally age well and never lose their fashionable edge, it will be interesting to see how the likes of Apple factor this element into their product and compete with the traditional appeal of, say, a Swiss-made dress watch.
Colour Changing Fabric
This is something that is relatively unheard of at the moment, but in future it could become just another everyday feature of the clothing we wear. In the past there have been gimmicky attempts to create features like this- such as heat sensitive t-shirts- but it has the potential to become much more sophisticated than that and the signs are there that it already has. For example, work is currently going ahead on materials that react differently when exposed to different light. There’s also talk of kinetic-type electronic energy clothing which would allow wearers to illuminate the clothing they wear through movement.
Brand Focus: Stone Island
Italians Stone Island, related to the C.P Company, are pioneers of high-performance, technological clothing, and they have been for many years now. The label has become revered for expertise in outdoor jackets both in terms of technological features such as wind an rain resistance, but also in terms of style too. Last season Stone Island created the Ice Jacket, designed for extreme temperatures, and it has a feature of being able to change colour in response to the change in temperature. This season other innovations come to the fore such as the the “Reflex Mat” jacket which is able to reflect different lights and it creates either a plain or camouflaged appearance. Also, the “Micro Reps” jacket is tightly woven to military specification making it completely wind resistant without losing its classic stylish appearance or lightweight properties.
To think of your clothing as some kind of living- skin like- organism that can heal when broken or damaged seems like something beyond the realms of reality at present but in fact it isn’t. According to research done by an Australian university it could become a common feature of everyday clothing before much longer. Rips and tears are inevitable with clothing but focus on creating “superamphiphobic” (extreme water-proof) fabrics has resulted in the realisation that it is possible to keep liquid out even after breakage. The basic premise is that a special coating is applied to the material so that when they develop breaks it will automatically begin to melt at a very low temperature in order to seal the gap. The best thing about it is that it wouldn’t be just a one time thing either, according to researchers it could stand up to 100 scratches with a razor blade before the waterproof qualities were beginning to be compromised in any way.
Shades are are a summer fashion essential and the technology that goes into them on improving comfort, grip and most importantly the protection of the lens to the eye is something the designers are constantly battling to improve upon. Oakley is a particularly good example of a specialist in this field and their high-tech eye-wear offers fully polarized, UV resistant frames which are the choice of many professional athletes.
Manufacturers are constantly striving to push forward athletic footwear to become lighter, more breathable and more resilient, something that transfers through to fashion as well. At present you will find a plethora highly technical Nike and adidas running shoes, adapted for casual wear, alongside others from the likes of Asics- you no longer have to sacrifice practicality for style. Even traditional shoe makers Grenson are adapting their methods by creating a lightweight rubber to use as the sole of their Goodyear welted brogues, thus giving it a much more comfortable and light feel.
Replay have found their recent Hyperflex innovation to be a huge success and the idea has spread to other brands who are now experimenting with similar ideas and how to take it further. The idea behind it is that the denim is altered to make it behave in a much freer and more flexible way than regular, hard wearing denim. New qualities include shape retention, a comfortable feel and the fact it compromises none of the great qualities of denim either. The fabric consists of three layers: Lycra, poly (to protect the Lycra) and cotton to give it the denim look.