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Fashion and Technology. Are we willing to trust the merging of the digitalisation and fashion industries?

Essay 2016 7 Pages

Design (Industry, Graphics, Fashion)

Excerpt

Are we willing to trust the merging of the digitalisation and fashion industries?

There is a revolution in the fashion world.[1] Despite the fact that it took a while before modern technology started to have an influence, these two differing industries are not able to continue apart from each other. Lets think about Paris Fashion Week 2013 for a moment. Iris van Herpen made a statement in the fashion world with two 3D printed ensembles during the haute couture show with her collection ‘Voltage’.[2],[3] Besides the traditional meaning of just wearing clothes, which originated with the basic need for protection, suddenly other aspects start to become important too. Now, clothes need to be smart. Clothes need to communicate in another way and it provides the wearer of a second skin.[4]

Technology and digitalisation can cause fear. An exponential growth within this branch can be noticed, and it becomes harder to understand the way this complicated technology works. People might feel like they are losing control. They do not want to be dependent on technology, or lose skills to it. Furthermore, technology brings this fear through being alienated from the people around them, losing privacy. With rapid advancements in technology, more and more humans are rendered obsolete in terms of the jobs they used to carry out.[5] Becoming unemployed is a very real fear amongst society today. Lack of transparency causes distrust[6], and the technological world tries to stretch the limit to compromise in privacy.[7] Consumers ask themselves for example with regards to the ever-evolving world of communications technology: where is all this personal data going to?

Wearable fashion is an extension of technology in the clothing branch. Is it reasonable that a feeling of fear evolves, or do these wearables have the main goal of being transparent by clear and visual communication in fashion? Does the society want to accept this inescapable development?

Incorporation of digitalisation in fashion

“One thing that I’ve noticed is that fashion is about a lot more than just the designs, it’s about what’s happening in the world, and it’s about the models, the designers, their inspirations, the stories behind them, and that’s what virtual reality allows them to do, to tell all of that in an interesting way. That’s the power of virtual reality; it goes way beyond just what’s happening in the room,” said Youvisit CEO Abi Mandelbaum. Besides the growth of wearables, digitalisation has impacted on the world of fashion in different ways as well. YouVisit is a platform that provides virtual tours though places or events that are hard to become involved with. The company collaborated with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in 2015. Within five minutes the watcher is travelling through the corridors backstage and ends up front row during a runway show. It is not the first runway in fashion world that engaged with the digitalisation. Ralph Lauren projected a runway show as a four dimensional hologram in Central park in September 2014. Dior presented a backstage headset in February 2015. It is likely to think that many more people will have access to venues like this in a virtual way looking forward into the future.[8],[9]

Besides virtual reality movies, for example social media has had the same role of sharing public of backstage happenings. The connection between an individual and its environment grows, privacy does not seem to be likely to affected, and because it is a choice to engage with this technology this concept does not cause fear. The real occurrence of the fashion event on location is still important, but it opens a new way of sharing information with this digital platform. Forecasters expect that this form of digitalisation is tend to grow. People have already accepted this way of technology.[10]

Extension of human capabilities

The development in wearables has started during the ’60, and nowadays it is increasing exponentially.[11] Instead of passively looking at something, like virtual reality requires, the role of the user transformed into being active. The wearable tech literally touches the skin. Fashion designer Pauline van Dongen collaborated with scientists and technicians to develop a wearable solar shirt that saves energy that can be used to recharge your phone. This shows that designers are thinking about improving the world, making use of technology in the industry of fashion. During her TEDx Talk, Pauline van Dongen explains: “We tend to think that technology alienates us from the world around us but I hope to show you today that it can also contribute to valuable new ways of embodied experience and interaction.“[12] There are more designers who are aware of the benefits of the combination of fashion and digitalisation. The material Spongesuit has won the International Design Competition. It aims to make a swim-experience more meaningful by absorbing harmful materials out of the sea. These are examples of extending people its capabilities through scientific innovation. The swimsuit offers a tool for people to behave in a sustainable way.[13],[14],[15] The reason why it exists is transparent. It helps to keep the planet alive.

There are technological developments within fashion that offers convenience and comfort. The ‘supertech-rompertje’, an English supertech-onesie, keeps an eye on a baby that is born too early. It is the same idea of processing the body with a monitor, but this garment protects the skin from painful stickers. Also the soles of smart shoes that adapt to the road or trail it is running on has been invented.[16] These examples show that the development within technology makes life more convenient for the user. It offers the possibility to improve the state of wellbeing physically. The product is very transparent about the positive effects it can cause. It is not a garment that creates fear.

Besides the positive interaction between human and environment, technology in fashion makes another way of communication between people possible. Nowadays the botox-clinic is super busy, because people want to stay eternally young.[17] Even on social media people do not show the reality, but only the best version of themselves. Identities are malleable and liquid.[18],[19] Developments within wearables show exactly the opposite. The wearable tech does only show intimate and genuine information. This movement within the fashion industry brings people back to reality. Information that has never been shared suddenly becomes visible. Literally and figuratively it comes close to someone in his private zone.[20]

Think for example about INTIMACY 2.0. Studio Roosegaarde has introduced a dress, produced out of leather and smart e-foils. It researches the relationship between intimacy and technology. The heart rate has a big influence on the visibility or the transparency of the dress.[21] Are people ready to wear a garment that reacts on a very intimate part of the body, the heartbeat, which can possibly make you look naked?

The South Korean designer Eujeong Jeon has developed Trans-For-M-Otion. This garment gives a reaction on the emotion of the wearer. The Bubble Dress made by Philips behaves the same. The colours that are changeable are based on the mood of the wearer.[22] This digital garment gives even more intimate information about the wearer. The naked body will not disappear, but the colour of the garment communicates the inner feeling, even if you want to keep it secret.

Acceptance of smart fashion

It is clear that the developments of technology and digitalisation are fully implemented within the fashion industry. Virtual reality has already been accepted. Being more connected to the world of fashion makes this development more valuable. The subjects of fear and transparency become interesting if thinking about wearables. Garments like this are literally touching the body when communicating with the environment and the connected people. It comes closer to the private zone. It shares honest information about an individual that has not been shared before through fashion. Basic human capacities, like communicating and caring, are extended and augmented. For example the solar shirt and swimwear are communicating an identity, and are especially taking care of the environment. Acting sustainably means acting responsibly, which results in a feeling of trust about the wearables. The garments enable the user to make a difference. These positive developments within fashion are caused by designers, and it is a trustful feeling that this group actually cares about the environment. The supertech-onesie and the smart sport shoes have an immediate positive effect on wellbeing. It takes care of the users. It is easy to justify to yourself why making use of these wearables is of personal benefit.

When the technological garments come literally and figuratively even closer to the body, the perception of trust or distrust changes. Fear becomes a part of the feeling about the garment. Do people really want to share personal information about their heartbeat? Also, what makes it valuable to communicate your inner feeling with the outer world via fashion? Does not it cross our boundaries of privacy? Did nature make these feelings invisible by reason?

Adding digital technology to the world of fashion is able to create transparency about the usage of it. It creates trust. The balance between privacy and transparency of the user has everything to do with trust or fear. It makes individuals happy or unhappy to become involved with a certain garment. When it crosses the boundary of privacy, people might be unhappy to go along with the wearable. But like nearly everything else in the world of technology, it is just a matter of time.

Bibliography

Codinha, A. (2015, December 3). Is This the Future of Fashion Week? Retrieved March 28, 2016, from Vogue: http://www.vogue.com/13375247/virtual-reality-future-fashion-week/

Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Polity Press. P82-88

Domogala, S. M. (2010). Alles wat we wilden [Documentary]. VPRO. Retrieved from http://www.npo.nl/3doc/11-08-2010/VPRO_1141355

Dongen, P. (2015, October 2). Pauline van Dongen : Crafting Wearables | TEDxArnhem [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8EoOJJmdx0

Earle, T. C. (2014). Trust in Cooperative Risk Management. Routledge.

European Commission. (2015). Public Opinion On Future Innovations, Science And Technology. Eurobarometer.

Kok, J. (2015, June). SEE THE LIGHT - Shaping Virtual Identities. [Video file]. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Jacob Kok: http://cargocollective.com/jacobkok

Martin. (2014, August 16). The Rise of Wearables | Future Gear. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Cleverism: http://www.cleverism.com/rise-wearables-future-gear/

Molsbergen, G. (2015, September 28). Virtual Reality en marketing, wat kunnen we ervan verwachten? Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Marketingmed: https://marketingmed.nl/virtual-reality-marketing-verwachtingen/

Morozov, E. (2013, October 22). The Real Privacy Problem. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Technology Review: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/520426/the-real-privacy-problem/

Nealon, S. (2015, October 12). Cleaning Water One Stroke at a Time. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from UCR Today: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/32330

Raby, M. (2013, January 31). 3D printed dress winds up on Paris Fashion Week runway. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from Geek: http://www.geek.com/news/3d-printed-dress-winds-up-on-paris-fashion-week-runway-1538022/

Rijsingen, H. v. (2014, October 18). Slimme kleren zijn hot. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Een Vandaag: http://www.eenvandaag.nl/binnenland/54682/slimme_kleren_zijn_hot

Studio Roosegaarde. (2011). Intimacy. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Studio Roosegaarde: https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/intimacy/info/

Teunissen, J. (2014). The Future of Fashion Is Now. (José Teunissen & Jan Brand (ed), Arnhem: Boijmans.

Teunissen, José (2013). The search for new values and practices in fashion.

José Teunissen & Jan Brand (ed), Fashion Odyssey. Arnhem, ArtEZ Press: (9 – 22)

The Creators Project. (2014, April 4). Flying Dress And The Future Of Fashion. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from The Creators Project: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/show/designing-flying-dresses-and-the-future-of-fashion-meet-studio-xo-video

Worsley, H. (2011). 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion. Laurence King Publishing. P60-61

YoureShape. (2015). Spongesuit. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from YoureShape: http://www.youreshape.com/9au7/

Zeggeren, B. van (Director). (2015). Sophie in de kreukels [Reality Series]. Witte Geit (Producer). BNN-VARA. Retrieved from http://www.npo.nl/sophie-in-de-kreukels/POMS_S_BNN_1684323

[...]


[1] The Creators Project. (2014, April 4). Flying Dress And The Future Of Fashion. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from The Creators Project: http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/show/designing-flying-dresses-and-the-future-of-fashion-meet-studio-xo-video

[2] Raby, M. (2013, January 31). 3D printed dress winds up on Paris Fashion Week runway. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from Geek: http://www.geek.com/news/3d-printed-dress-winds-up-on-paris-fashion-week-runway-1538022/

[3] Teunissen, J. (2014). The Future of Fashion Is Now. (José Teunissen & Jan Brand (ed), Arnhem: Boijmans.

[4] Rijsingen, H. v. (2014, October 18). Slimme kleren zijn hot. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Een Vandaag: http://www.eenvandaag.nl/binnenland/54682/slimme_kleren_zijn_hot

[5] European Commission. (2015). Public Opinion On Future Innovations, Science And Technology. Eurobarometer.

[6] Earle, T. C. (2014). Trust in Cooperative Risk Management. Routledge.

[7] Morozov, E. (2013, October 22). The Real Privacy Problem. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Technology Review: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/520426/the-real-privacy-problem/

[8] Molsbergen, G. (2015, September 28). Virtual Reality en marketing, wat kunnen we ervan verwachten? Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Marketingmed: https://marketingmed.nl/virtual-reality-marketing-verwachtingen/

[9] Codinha, A. (2015, December 3). Is This the Future of Fashion Week? Retrieved March 28, 2016, from Vogue: http://www.vogue.com/13375247/virtual-reality-future-fashion-week/

[10] Kok, J. (2015, June). SEE THE LIGHT - Shaping Virtual Identities. [Video file]. Retrieved March 29, from Jacob Kok: http://cargocollective.com/jacobkok

[11] Martin. (2014, August 16). The Rise of Wearables | Future Gear. Retrieved March 29, 2016, from Cleverism: http://www.cleverism.com/rise-wearables-future-gear/

[12] Dongen, P. (2015, October 2). Pauline van Dongen : Crafting Wearables | TEDxArnhem [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8EoOJJmdx0

[13] Nealon, S. (2015, October 12). Cleaning Water One Stroke at a Time. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from UCR Today: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/32330

[14] YoureShape. (2015). Spongesuit. Retrieved March 28, 2016, from YoureShape: http://www.youreshape.com/9au7/

[15] Teunissen, José (2013). The search for new values and practices in fashion. José Teunissen & Jan Brand (ed), Fashion Odyssey. Arnhem, ArtEZ Press: (9 – 22)

[16] Rijsingen, H. v. (2014, October 18). Slimme kleren zijn hot. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Een Vandaag: http://www.eenvandaag.nl/binnenland/54682/slimme_kleren_zijn_hot

[17] Zeggeren, B. van (Director). (2015). Sophie in de kreukels [Reality Series]. Witte Geit (Producer). BNN-VARA. Retrieved from http://www.npo.nl/sophie-in-de-kreukels/POMS_S_BNN_1684323

[18] Domogala, S. M. (2010). Alles wat we wilden [Documentary]. VPRO. Retrieved from http://www.npo.nl/3doc/11-08-2010/VPRO_1141355

[19] Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid Modernity. Polity Press. P82-88

[20] Worsley, H. (2011). 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion. Laurence King Publishing. P60-61

[21] Studio Roosegaarde. (2011). Intimacy. Retrieved March 24, 2016, from Studio Roosegaarde: https://www.studioroosegaarde.net/project/intimacy/info/

[22] Teunissen, J. (2014). The Future of Fashion Is Now. (José Teunissen & Jan Brand (ed), Arnhem: Boijmans.

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Pages
7
Year
2016
File size
455 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v342599
Grade
Tags
fashion technology digitalisation 3D printing fashion industry

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Title: Fashion and Technology. Are we willing to trust the merging of the digitalisation and fashion industries?