Transformer Clothing

Fashion designer Hussein Chalayan is showing a set of unusual creations, "Transformer" dresses that owe more to technology than haute couture. Following in the footsteps of Howard Hughes, who designed the underwire bra for actress Jane Russell, Chalayan teamed up with engineering firm 2D3D to create dresses that transformed themselves.

For example, the Chalayan dress shown below has a moving neckline; the decolletage of the dress changed from somewhat risque to very modest.


(Transformer dress by Hussein Chalayan)

Each dress was designed to morph through three decades of fashion change. The dress shown above also uses vertical slats that puff out to become more revealing. Other dresses zip or unzip themselves and transform in a variety of intriguing ways.


(Chalayan dress alters decollete)

The engineering effort underlying the fashion was extensive. 2D3D director Rob Edkins described some of the technology:

"With the first dress, the girl walked on in a 1906 costume, and it morphed from 1906 to 1916 and then to 1926...

"Basically, the dresses were driven electronically by controlled, geared motors. We made... little pads for the models... within these containers we had all the battery packs, controlling chips--the micro-controllers and micro-switches--and little geared motors. The motors we used were tiny, about a third of the size of a pencil and nine millimeters in diameter. Each of the motors had a little pulley, and the pulley was then attached to this monofilament wire which was fed through hollow tubes... running everywhere, carrying these little cables, each doing its little job, lifting things up or releasing little linked metallic plates. There was a huge amount of stuff going on beneath the clothes."

Science fiction writer J.G. Ballard had a very similar idea for clothing that transformed itself in his 1970 short story Say Goodbye to the Wind. In the story, special bio-fabrics actually made clothing come alive for the wearer in exactly the same way as the Chalayan dresses:

One drawback of bio-fabrics is their extreme sensitivity... The sudden movement of someone nearby, let alone of the wearer, brings an immediate reply from the nerve-like tissues. A dress can change its color and texture in a few seconds, becoming more decollete at the approach of an eager admirer, more formal at a chance meeting with a bank manager.
(Read more about bio-fabric)

Bio-fabric is still a science-fictional idea, but I wonder what Hussein Chalayan could make with these real-life fabric technologies:

Read more about Chalayan design.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/30/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )

Related News Stories - (" Clothing ")

iSphere Plastique Fantastique Face Mask Alternative
'Among these were some clad in the insulated space-suits, with their transparent glassite helmets.' - Edmond Hamilton, 1931.

Inkjet-Printed Wearable Solar Cells
Ultra-thin wearable organic photovoltaic material.

E - Ink's Automatic Self Styling Color-Changing Dress
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.' - JG Ballard, 1970.

Clothes That Do Photosynthesis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...' - JG Ballard, 1970

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

'Black Friday' Online Shopping - In 1899!
'In your days they showed you a fashion-plate,' said the tailor, 'but this is our modern development.'

DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
'If there's anything in here worth looking at, these pups'll find it.'

Glass Dome Cities On Mars, Dreamed By Elon Musk
'They will have flung great arches and domes of glass above the wider spaces...'

Kuka Robot 'Heidi' Paints With Artificial Intelligence
Robots make art for man.

Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.'

Do You Need The Entire Fembot? Maybe Just The Hand
'...Men don't want real women anymore. You and I are behind the times...'

3D Printing With Sunlight And Sand
'We made a crude, small cell and were delighted...'

Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come

Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene
'It's a madhouse! a madhouse!'

Solar Power Beamed From Space Studied By Brit Boffins
'Our beams feed these worlds energy drawn from... the Sun.'

Pandemic Entrepreneurs! Consider Robo Esso Robot Barista
'... the perpetual beam carved in the robot face of the bartender, the classic Irish grin.'

Shape-Shifting Robot From MIT
'... the structure of that shape is retained down to the molecules.'

Tesla's 20,000 Superchargers
'To recharge the batteries, which can be done in almost every town and village...'

Smallest Rogue Planet Discovered In Milky Way
'...a swarm of rogue planets chanced by.'

New Technology For Interplanetary Communication
'... sweating, heat-blistered engineers at every interplanetary radiograph station on three planets, stood by their generators.'

First Lunar Water, Then... Monolith?
'It looks brand new, doesn't it?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.