It is one thing to be concerned about a ‘bad hair day’, but imagine wearing smart fashion that alerts you to the threat of a stinky ‘bad air day’. Stephanie Sandstrom’s EPA Dress, currently on view in the San Francisco Exploratorium’s 2nd Skin Exhibition responds to bad air – and that’s not all, it cleverly creates the wrinkles to prove it! Looking crumpled and tired may no longer be an indicator of a late night out, but rather an intelligent way of interpreting your surroundings as well as detecting lurking health hazards. And if that’s not enough to get you totally charged up, consider the Piezing motion-powered dress that redefines future-forward fashion with femme-bot sex appeal.
Designer Sandstrom has embedded her EPA dress with sensors that are able to intelligently read the surrounding atmosphere and in turn create telling kinks in the fabric’s surface. On days when the air quality is particularly poor, the EPA dress looks as if it has been pulled out of the laundry bin or from the back of one’s closet. It’s a scary prospect to think that our clothes might take on a texture of their own, but if this is a viable way for us to see our true selves or rather the state of our environment, well then, we are all for it!
2nd Skin: Imaginative Designs in Digital & Analog Clothing demonstrates the melding of science and technology with art and fashion as a means to examine both cutting-edge innovation as well as environmental awareness. Another striking piece from the exhibit’s opening night runway show was Amanda Parkes’ ‘Piezing’ dress, which generates power via the human body’s motion and piezoelectric material. Electricity is generated in response to applied mechanical stress around the joints of the elbows and hips of the garment. This motion-generated electricity is then stored as voltage in a centralized small battery and can be discharged for use as needed in the future.
Second Skin or second chance – all good examples of sustainable style being about smart dressing as well as environmental awareness while revealing critical new layers.