From a dress that tweets to Google glasses coming down the runway at New York Fashion Week, we’ve been seeing a growing intersection between fashion and technology in the past few years. This emergence of high-tech fashion is part of the reason why we kicked off the HP Laptop Bag Design Competition three weeks ago to challenge the design community to create an innovative new laptop bag for HP’s new super-lightweight Spectre XT Ultrabook. So how are fashion and design creatives using technology to inform their work? Hit the jump to see a few of our favorite high-tech wearable designs.
Photovoltaic Solar-powered Mini-dress by Despina Papadopoulos
Despina Papadopoulos of Studio 5050 created the Day-For-Night Solar Dress, an ultra-mod solar-powered mini that looks a lot like chanteuse Francoise Hardy’s 1960s number here. The custom-made dress not only looks cute, but it also soaks up the sun’s rays and then lights up at night to create the ultimate party dress. The solar frock is hand-made and custom-fitted with 448 circuit board tiles that can be fitted with solar cells, LEDs, or photocells to charge your mobile device, and a micro-controller lets you control the tiles.
Stylish Solar-Powered Purses Designed by Diane Von Furstenberg & More
If there were ever a collision of high-fashion and technology for the haute couture history books, it would have to be when the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, Rogan, and Loomstate joined forces to create a series of solar purses for charity. An initiative kicked off by Elle magazine, the Portable Light Project called upon nine superstar fashion designers to create bags that not would only work as stylish accessories, but double as power sources that could provide for light for those in need. The special edition bags were all auctioned off on eBay, and all proceeds from the sales were donated to support Portable Light Project’s mission to deliver power to developing communities.
A LED Dress by CuteCircuit That Will Light Up the Town
Light up the night with CuteCircuit’s haute couture LED gown. CuteCircuit, a London-based design atelier, made the spectacular piece from silk-chiffon embroiered with 10,000 LEDs and Swarovski crystals. Head designers Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz wanted a high-tech, wearable statement that mimicked the aurora borealis, as well paid homage to Aurora, the Roman goddess.
Mondo Guerra’s HP Vertical Messenger Featuring a Mondstooth Print
Using HP’s new touchscreen technology, fashion designer and HP Laptop Bag Design Competition judge Mondo Guerra digitally designed his own textile and pattern for his HP Vertical Messenger. Taking inspiration from houndstooth, Guerra took the classic M shape of the print and gave it his own bold and colorful twist to create what he jokingly calls “Mondstooth”. Guerra perfectly proportioned his fashionable bag to fit a 14″ or 15.6″ Ultrabook, which stays protected in its very own padded pocket. There are also five versatile, well-conceived pockets to maximize your storage and protect all those other nifty gadgets you can’t leave home without. A perfect mobile office for those on the go, Guerra’s bag is available for purchase here.
Digitally “AirDyed” Ready-to-Wear Dresses by Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra
Designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra decked their models out at NY Fashion Week with frocks colored using AirDye’s water-saving digital printing technology. The technology uses computers to manage the application of dyes to the textiles, which gave the designers free range to play with even the subtlest variations in hues and tones. “With this process, you get these great iridescent, almost heathered colors,” Costello told Ecouterre. “You can’t get that with standard printing.” Each stunning dress that uses AirDye saves 45 gallons of water, 95 megajoules of energy, and 3 kilograms of greenhouse gases over a conventionally dyed garment, according to AirDye Solutions.
Richard Nicoll’s Birkin-inspired Bag That Also Hides a Phone Charger
Richard Nicoll’s gorgeous handbag may take its inspiration from the Hermes Birkin, but it one-ups Jane’s bag by offering a hidden cable that’s capable of charging your cell phone or tablet! The bag itself charges magnetically through induction, storing enough electricity for a couple of days’ worth of use. “We wanted to create a collaborative product that fused fashion and technology,” Nicoll said in a press release. The designer worked with Vodafone to make his concept a reality.
If you’re as fascinated as we are by the intersection of fashion and technology, check out the finalist designers in the HP Laptop Bag Design Competition. We’re partnering with HP to find the best and the brightest in bag design to compliment the next generation of super lightweight, mobile laptops. We’re putting these 40 finalists up to a public vote RIGHT NOW, and it’s YOU who will decide who will make it into out final 5 for a chance to win a whopping$10,000 cash prize and a chance to see their bag concept turned into a reality. Voting ends on September 26th – pick your favorite today, before the voting period ends!
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This post is sponsored by the sleek, stylish, lightweight HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™, inspired by Intel. Vote for your favorite bag design!