Futuristic Fashion Forward (by Digital Trends)

Let’s face it, most of us have similar notions of how the future of travel or home life might look – flying cars, compartmentalized Jetson-inspired high-rises, and artificial intelligence robots doing our mundane, everyday tasks.  But have you ever stopped to think about what futuristic clothing might look like, aside from the Star Trek skin-tight space suits and bizarre headdresses showcased in Star Wars?

Inspired partly by the futuristic creations from Bravo Network’s clothing designer reality show, “Project Runway”, two MIT graduate students, Christine Liu and Nick Knouf, along with the MIT Media Lab and MIT Council of the Arts, recently produced “Seamless: Computational Couture”, an out-of-this-world fashion show held at the MIT Media Lab. Seamless’ at-capacity show featured 30 high-tech pieces from 18 talented current and former students from MIT, Harvard University, the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence and Parsons School of Design in New York City.

According to Liu, “The real inspiration was just the interest in clothing and technology and Nick and I shared when we met. We watched ‘Project Runway’, attended Boston fashion shows, shopped together (naturally) and researched (and marveled at) existing and emerging computational clothing projects. Pretty soon we got the gumption to apply for the Arts Grant at MIT to produce the show.”  The Arts Grant from the MIT Council of Arts awarded Liu and Knouf $1000 to work with, and MIT’s Media Lab matched it. All other items were paid out-of-pocket, or offered in-kind, including shoes donated by Puma as well as some concept pieces from Motorola.

In contrast to the Media Lab’s 1997 Wearables fashion show, this year’s event brought social implications into the limelight, offering a combination of function and form along with a dash of panache. “Seamless was an independent grassroots student production with independent and student designers. Seamless was a different take on clothing and technology, focusing more on the social and sartorial aspects of computational clothing rather than just purely informationally augmented selves.  We also wanted to explore more artistic, conceptual and experimental pieces,” said Liu.


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