The Fairytale Fashion Collection uses technology to create magical clothing in real life. Electronics, mechanical engineering, and mathematics are used to create clothing with blooming flowers, changing colors and transforming shapes.
I first learned about this project by Diana Eng (Twitter / Wikipedia) at Eyebeam's Open Studios last year. As a designer + technologist, I actively seek out people working on things that infuses art + science. And so when Diana told me that her collection's debut at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in New York, I was more than delighted to check her out.
Research and development for the Fairytale Fashion collection are shared online at FairytaleFashion.org as an educational tool that teaches about science, math, and technology through fashion. Fairytale Fashion was created with the support of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States.
A total of nine looks were showcased on the runway on February 24th, 2010, and some of them will be available for purchase on March 1st at DianaEng.com.
1. EL Wire Dress. Aqua silk chiffon organically draped dress edge with electroluminescent wire controlled by an accelerometer. Circuit boards are housed in 3-D printed neck piece.
2. Deployable Hoodie. Red wood silk hoodie with Miura Ori structure pleat pattern to help the hood collapse small and open big.
3. Twinkle Dress and Twinkle Cardigan. LED circuits are hand embroidered with silverized thread and a custom sewable circuit board Twinkle Pad, developed specially for the Fairytale Fashion Collection. Twinkle Dress's removable grey silk chiffon twinkle pad circuit overlays washable black cotton American Apparel dreww. Twinkle Cardigan's removable black wool melton shoulder patches overlay a cotton sweater.
4. Cameo. Peach silk organza edged with electroluminescent wire. Circuit boards are housed in 3-D printed Cameo.
5. Twinkle Skirt. LED circuits are hand embroidered with silverized thread and a custom sewable circuit board Twinkle Pad, developed specially for the Fairytale Fashion Collection.
6. Puff Sleeve Jacket. Lavender cotton canvas jacket with deployable structure pleated sleeves.
7. Inflatable Dress. Cream silk chiffon, draped over plastic inflatables and white silk flowers.
8. EL Wire Coat. White silk organza illuminated by EL wire patterns beneath which are controlled by an accelerometer.
9. Floating Dreams Dress.
Circuit Bending Orchestra
In fact here's a video of Lara Grant explaining to me how this all works:
About Diana Eng
Diana Eng is a fashion designer who specializes in technology, math, and science. Her designs range from inflatable clothing to fashions inspired by mechanical engineering. She is a designer from Bravo’s Emmy nominated TV show, Project Runway season 2 and author of Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. Diana is cofounder of NYC Resistor hacker group. Diana is currently a resident artist at Eyebeam.
Hilary Mason (Facebook / Twitter), a computer science professor with a background in machine learning, data mining, and web applications, tends the lighting control. She is currently on sabbatical to explore real-world implementations of these technologies.
Gadget Galore at the press section:
Twinkling Backstage. The backstage literally lights up because of all the electroluminescent wires and Twinkle Pads.
Last but not least, SML Me with Diana!