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 ")

'Power Clothing' - The Seismic 'Super Suit'
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...' - Robert Heinlein, 1959.

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.' Bruce Sterling, 1988.

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…' Rudy Rucker, 1988.

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!' - Murray Leinster, 1945.

 

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

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.