Techno Textiles

“Imagine a time, one day soon, when clothing is not only about fashion but technological savvy, when fashion is not only dictated by style but function, boasting the same sort of technology used in smartphones.

This glimpse into the future is on display at the Wear Next exhibition, featuring 14 experimental, wearable and interactive works by local, national and international artists and designers, at Artisan Gallery, Fortitude Valley, this month.

Co-curator Beck Davis says this enticing combination of textiles and technology involves conductive thread, sensors embedded in fabric, and actuators in clothes that react to the surrounding environment.

‘They are integrated pieces featuring an intersection of fashion, art design and technology, ‘Davis says.

‘It’s very exciting to be able to put out there some suggestions of what we will wear next, and how we might engage techonology… which now has the capacity to carry previously unimaginable levels of data’.

One of the submissions, Without Fear – The Umbrella Movement (2015) by Hong Kong artists Chan Stacey Lok Heng, Li Tak Yung Doris and Kwok Tsz Lam Lamothy, has a touch of James Bond-style spy technology.

‘The designers were inspired by the strength and character shown by protesters who didn’t move from their protest area, despite being struck by tear gas,’ Davis says.

‘This piece is like a James Bond kind of dress because it looks at how we can design an aesthetically fashionable dress for political demonstrations so people look like they are wearing ordinary clothes, but the dress can become a tent and also conceal an umbrella.

‘The umbrella became a symbol for the non-violent protests when entire sections of the city were shut down.'”

 

Text extracted from article by Fiona Purdon in U ON SUNDAY, October 4, 2015

 

“Wear Next” exhibition, Artisan Gallery, 381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, runs until November 7, 2015