Wearables – Week 1

Readings: In reading Wearable Electronics and Smart Textiles: A Critical ReviewI found myself excited about my engineering background once again. I have always had a love for learning about new materials and this reminded me of that.  Being able to understand how the textiles work is essential in understanding how to use them and although, I have never really worked with wearables, it helped in seeing possibilities for the future projects.

I really enjoyed reading Losing the Thread because it had a lot of information that I really never thought about.  I never knew how much textiles played a role in our lives and society. It gave me an appreciation and gratitude towards them.  I especially enjoyed learning about the metaphors and in the beginning about what people thought of future fashion.  I would love to see this experiment done now for fun with the hope that there would be the same openness to the future.

Tracking of Garment:  My favorite garment is a BCBG Max Azria dress that I bought about 8 years ago.  It is made out of fabric blend that is 93% Rayon and 7% Spandex giving it this nice silky and cold to the touch feeling (which is one of my favorite parts of the dress.) The pattern is a black base with what almost looks like geometric shapes that are ripped from teal, cobalt, and mustard paper instead of straight cuts.

While inspecting the dress, I found it was made up of 10 parts: 2 sleeves, 2 cuffs, 2 tops, 1 top backing, 1 frontal skirt, 1 back skirt, and a belt.  The fabric around the belt and the cuffs appear to be rolled in to make a nice edging.


At the shoulder and the waist, there is pelting as seen below that gives it a nice, flattering shape for my body.


Although I hardly get to wear this dress, it will always be my favorite and stay with me in my closet.  I like that the silhouette is form flattering with almost a 1930s gown style to it but adds a modern twist with the pattern.  It hits my waste nicely and flares out just enough so that it is not too tight.  It also is long enough that I can wear it out to different types of occasions.  I hope to find the pattern for this one day or possibly recreate this dress using the same type of material but in different colors and patterns.

Mood/Inspiration Board:

Wearables-Week 1-Inspiration Board

My mood/inspiration board is split into three categories.  The first (on the left had side) is a column of inspiration related to Biomimicry.  This is a topic I studied in undergrad and would love to find a use for it within ITP. Not only is there new material coming out everyday that is inspired by nature but there are also processes and tools that come from Biology.  Also, I like the aesthetics of this column including the patterns and colors.  It’s a mix of harsh and soft beauty.

Jumping the middle column is a mix of textiles and patterns that I found.  Some are e-textiles like the purple scarf dyed with soil bacteria.  I am interested in working with different types of textiles and materials for this project.

Jumping to the right column, is inspiration related to social experiences with emphasis on taking mundane, everyday things and making them interesting.  I am using Disney because no matter what people’s feelings are toward the company, I believe they excel in this category.  The two examples I use are the queueing and there magic bands.  In there queue areas, they are able to positively manipulate (or encourage) you to wait possibly hours for a few minutes of fun.  They make waiting in line a whole experience for the person by adding games, or secret objects.  They also create these check points that make you feel that you’re almooost there.  While most amusement parks have long lines regardless, these details are what makes it a better experience.

In the second part, I have the Magic Bands.  What I like about these is that they once again make boring things like checking in or paying for something an easy task.  While this is a little more commercialized than I would like, it still shows an example of taking the mundane and making it fun.  I hope to do that in this wearables project.

Currently, I do not have a clear idea in mind.  I want to find a nice mix and have decided my next step will be to look at AskNature.org and other biomimicry websites for that part of it while sending out a survey to find out what are things that people have small pet peeves towards.  I plan to focus on making everyday, boring things more interesting in a subtle way and will use the materials and science as a helper.


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