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© 2017 MERRY JANE. All Rights Reserved.

Europe Gets Serious About Fashion-Tech

From Nokia Smartphone dresses to digitally knitted Nikes, the merger of fashion tech has has been the center of attention at recent European fashion and technology events.

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At Berlin Fashion Week last week, fashion and tech were put on display. A couple weeks ago, the London Technology Week also highlighted fashion tech.

Berlin fashion week displayed through Friday its “Fashion Fusion” and “Smart Fashion” exhibits as designers tried to imagine the future of fashion. Fashion enhanced by technology, which includes wearable technologies, offers a diverse array of functional garments.

“The great thing in fashion design is that it can tell a story. They have an emotional power. And the great thing in technology is that everything is possible. What do you want to build? Which functions do you want it to have? Alone, just for themselves, they cannot afford such a new production chain. But together, everything is possible,” Fashion Fusion curator and CEO of Electro Couture Lisa Lang said.

A competition between European fashion capitals to merge fashion and technology has formed.  “Germany actually does have all the components: we have great experience in the area of textile design, we have great experience in the area of microelectronics. But they don’t manage to bring both together. And now this is the moment where we can bring it together, and together shape those new forms of interaction. But we really need to get going because the competition does not sleep and Silicon Valley is busy creating as well. So Germany really has to get going,” said Professor of Design Research at Berlin University, Gesche Joost.

Fashion and science also merged at London Technology week ending June 26. The Mayor of London’s promotional office commissioned London fashion designer Brooke Roberts for the Fashion Tech launch of this year’s London Technology Week. “My aim has been to showcase the symbiotic fusion of fashion and technology,” she wrote for CNN.

Roberts did not focus on wearables. “I have brought together a collection of collaborative fashion and technology products and projects,” she wrote.

Headworks created a holographic mannequin. Modeclix featured the first draped 3D-printed fabric to flex with the shape of the body. Roberts brought her knitwear, which combines brain scans and digital knitting techniques. Infi-ex featured a ski jacket with sensor-embedded technology to adjust portable devices by touching a sleeve. FashBot R(evolution), developed by Roberts, is a “hand-drawn fashion animations by digital agency Holition are projected onto a 3D-printed open source InMoov robot wearing a dress created by Roberts.

“This project aims to demonstrate how we can bring humanity, fashion, and robots into a collaborative presentation.”