#TECHTALKS: Adaptive Clothing
We believe that clothing should be able to sense the wearer and adapt and respond accordingly.
Chromat sportswear functions as an augmentation that empowers the body to be stronger, faster and perform at optimum levels.
We have collaborated with the Intel Innovation, StretchSense and Nitemind teams for AW16 to create responsive accessories that transform the garment’s glow through reactive movement powered by the Intel® Curie™ Module. By serving as an extension of our sensory systems, the responsive garments reflect a concept known as biomimicry, where nature is used to solve complex human problems.
Stretchable sensors- known as "rubber bands with bluetooth" created by StretchSense- are incorporated into hand-wrap gloves worn by the models. Clenching a fist triggers the sensor, which wirelessly tells the Intel Curie module imbedded in the dress to switch the light on or off. "We wanted the models to be in control of their dress on the runway,"Chromat designer McCharen explained to Fast Co Design. "We were looking at boxing hand wraps as the inspiration for the gloves' design and bringing that physical power into [the models'] world."
In the wild, bioluminecense exists for myriad reasons: to attract prey, to find mates, or as a defense mechanism. Riffing on that notion, McCharen shows how the luminous tech integration can add an additional layer of expressiveness to a garment.
"It’s so interesting seeing new developments in science that help us understand the natural world and how organisms use their physical form to function at all levels," she says. "Scientists still don’t know every purpose bioluminescence serves. There are all these hidden languages [scientists] are unlocking—and we’re and bringing that to fashion ... We wanted the models to be able to communicate for themselves."
The glowing dresses were wired up with electroluminescent strips and LED strips by electrical engineer and longtime Chromat collaborator Nitemind- who also created the glowing set for the runway show. (You may remember Nitemind from the LED bras in AW14, or the Laser Chakra dresses in AW15, as well as the set for AW15 and SS16.)