TECHNOLOGY - The '60s TV sitcom Get Smart brought us the shoe phone, but what about a dress phone?
It's the M-Dress – a silk garment that doubles as a mobile phone. Produced by UK firm CuteCircuit, the M-Dress works with a standard SIM card. When the dress rings, you raise your hand to your head to answer the call.
This futuristic fusion of fashion and technology is becoming more common as clothing designers are increasingly incorporating electronics into their garments.
Jane McCann, director of Smart Clothes and Wearable Technology at the University of Wales, says the clothing and electronics industries are collaborating in an unprecedented way – what she describes as "a new industrial revolution."
McCann predicts that, in the next 10 years, clothes will have all kinds of functionality. "A garment might have devices on it to help you find your way somewhere, or to tell you how fit you are. It could tell you where someone is to help you meet them, or tell you what's on at a museum or club."
She notes the sports and fitness industries have led the way in wearable technology, producing shoes with built-in pedometers and active wear with iPod controls.
"Wearable technology is coming through into useful everyday clothing more than it is on the catwalk. The catwalk still treats wearable tech as flashing earrings or sensational things," McCann says.
While high fashion may be slow to adopt practical technology, designers have been quick to embrace technology in order to create dazzling new styles. Hussein Chalayan, twice selected as British Designer of the Year, has used his shows to experiment with dresses that glow with built-in LEDs or emit spectacular red lasers.
Others, like Angel Chang, have produced beautiful designs using thermochromic inks that change colour when you touch or breathe on them, while Montreal's XS Labs has used a shape-memory alloy called Nitinol to produce extraordinary dresses that change shape while you wear them.
As well as functionality, McCann believes mass customization will emerge as a major trend in clothing. "You can already go into a sizing booth and get measurements of your size and shape."
Perhaps you could store that information on a card and that could be used to customize clothing.
"In theory, if you've got technology that's cutting out garments one at a time it could produce clothes informed by your own size requirements," she says.
But mass customization could extend beyond getting the perfect fit – you might also be able to customize the technology in your clothes.
Says McCann: "You might want built-in controls for an MP3 player but I might like heartbeat monitoring."
"I'd like mine to have a digital print of the (album) sleeve but my friend wants a picture of her boyfriend on the back."
"Some of that could happen in the next 10 years."
accessories and jewelry advertising african fashion aprons arm warmers artistic autumn fashion beauty pageant belts bikinis and swimwear bizarre business casual capes casual fashion cool cosmetics costume cute date casual dieting and eating disorders DIY exercise fashion fashion crimes fashion design fashion ethics fashion trends fashion week fashion writing formal wear funny gothic fashion gowns hair salon hats haute couture headgear hoodies jackets knitting leather lingerie makeup male fashion milan models news panties pants perfumes political fashion prom dresses purses and handbags retro shirts shoes and footwear shopping shorts skirts social issues spring fashion steampunk summer fashion sunglasses suspenders sweaters wedding dresses winter fashion work clothing youth fashion
FASHION - The intense competition in the fashion industry makes it important for any fashion designer to showcase the designs to a larger a...
FASHION - Note to self... don't wear a hoodie to work, even if its "Casual Fridays". The term "Business Casual" ca...
Sarah Palin spent more than $150,000 on a fashion makeover in preparation for her vice-presidential campaign. So what? Critics have bee...
FASHION - When Daniel Craig emerged from the Caribbean sea in Casino Royale , his brief trunks not only recalled another iconic James Bond...
FASHION - Call it my biggest fashion industry pet peeve... but what is with all the clothes that, admittedly, none of us would ever wear in...
FASHION - On Saturday night I went out to a pub and I saw two separate guys wearing suspenders. Since then I've been noticing it more...
The photos below are of Ukrainian fashion model Valeria Lukyanova , who uses makeup to make herself look like a real life Barbie Doll. Odd...
FASHION - When it comes to the fashion and beauty industry, Rachelle White Wind is a one-woman show. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native is an ac...
FASHION - You don't want a lump of coal for Christmas, but a little black lace dress and the accessories to match might be on your list...
NOTE: For photos I managed to find several images of 'average' and 'plus-size' women's fashions, but its rarity. I exper...