Floating on a Tech High at BF+DA’s Cloud Couture #WearableWednesday


You know I was excited about this BF+DA show, because I was willing to scramble from Philly to a remote area of Brooklyn in freezing temperatures and snow. Although I couldn’t stay long, check out the cool fashions that I got to see at this unusual fashion incubator. #worthit Peeking around the corner from the entrance was a design I’ve always wanted to get my fingers on–the LED Stego Flex Spike Hoodie by our own designer/goddess Becky Stern (roll applause track). Although I get to occasionally visit Becky’s office, I’ve never actually touched this cool jacket. The LED spikes are actually printed from NinjaFlex and look and feel like rice paper lanterns, but with more strength. It’s like those crystals you see in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. I definitely need to borrow this for my next wearables talk.


Another fun creation filled with math was this laser cut dress from Pankaj&Nidhi. It’s part of a larger collection from the designers perfectly named Geometrica. With this dress you are struck by the feeling of a creamsicle on steroids. The upper ring of tetrahedrons on the bodice creates a proud collar, and you’ll notice that the designers have also used these ornaments for LEDs on other fashions. Whenever you have the opportunity of enclosed surfaces with distance, you can create beautiful diffused lighting.


Probably one of the most popular pieces in the show was this Adobe Shoe by Francis Bitonti Studio. You may remember reading my recent post about Bitonti’s “New Skin Workshop” in London. This particular shoe was commissioned for Adobe and shows the beautiful color and pattern possibilities. To me they look like an underwater delight, complete with tassels of algae and coral. For those math fans out there, the shoes take their algorithm from Conway’s Game of Life, which mimics living cells interacting with their neighbors. That explains the organic variations you see in the heel of the shoe.


It’s time we moved onto sensors and this Mood Sweater by Sensoree is one of my faves. Designer Kristin Neidlinger is very interested in the connection between mind and body, and this sweater uses a GER (Galvanic Extimacy Responder) to translate the body’s excitement levels into colors shown in the collar. It’s the future of mood rings and will change how people communicate in public. The sweater is currently on pre-order and Kristin is hand crafting each circuit.


Something we use our phones for almost daily is direction. However, it can be a bother to have to squint reading the directions. What if your clothing could do the work for you? The Navigate Jacket by Billie Whitehouse interfaces with your phone, but uses haptic feedback in the back of the shoulders to steer you left and right to your destination. Now you can look like you know where you’re going, even when you really don’t. Billie also had the Alert Shirt on display, which uses a similar technology to allow sports fans to feel the effects of their favorite games through the connection to their smartphone. Sounds like football could now be rough for couch potatoes.


I had to leave before the big panel discussion, however, I had a moment to check out some of CHROMAT’s strappy lingerie. I remember this look from my Madonna days, and it’s still fun. Becca McCharen’s understanding of architecture enables her to create the most amazing cages for the body, and if you visit her site, you will also discover that her style includes all body types, which is refreshing. She experiments with laser cutting, 3D printing and electronics. It’s the future, and sports bras go peek-a-boo.

Well, that’s all the NY excitement for one day. If you have a good wearable design, you may want to apply to be part of the program at BF+DA or at least check out their classes. For now, I leave you with a tutorial to make the StegoAwesome Hoodie. Isn’t it time you had something more colorful on your back?

Flora breadboard is Every Wednesday is Wearable Wednesday here at Adafruit! We’re bringing you the blinkiest, most fashionable, innovative, and useful wearables from around the web and in our own original projects featuring our wearable Arduino-compatible platform, FLORA. Be sure to post up your wearables projects in the forums or send us a link and you might be featured here on Wearable Wednesday!

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