This Beautiful Smart Dress Blossoms When You Want to Talk #WearableWednesday


Cindy Guo dreamed of a better way to handle those awkward moments when you would rather not talk with someone in a social setting. You don’t want to be rude and ask the other person to leave you alone, but what is the alternative? She envisioned Blooming Lady, a dress that would handle the communication for you.

Blooming Lady is a smart dress which can display the social intention of the wearer. When the dress is open, it means the wearer is welcome to communicate with others. On the contrary, if the dress is closed, it means the wearer wants to stay alone.

You can see how she incorporates the exotic orchid in her choice of fabric and tailoring for the garment, complete with petals as it moves.

Cindy used a Lilypad Arduino and servos attached to rods to control the movements of the dress. Although I’ve seen this idea of using servos to communicate open and closed garments before, it usually takes the form of expanding and contracting large skirts using wire or cord. I like that Cindy experimented with rods and the short overlapped skirt pieces are a simple way to accentuate their movement, almost like theatrical curtains.


Currently Cindy is a student at Academy of Art and Design at Tsinghua University. Her portfolio is growing and I expect to see more exciting work in her future. Her dress is a great example of reactive fashion, and if you find yourself interested in using microcontrollers with textiles, you should definitely check out our book Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA. FLORA is our easy-to-use microcontroller that is stitchable and solderable. Even if you don’t have an idea in mind, this book is ready-to-go with amazing projects you’ll want to make. It’s also filled with helpful hints about sewing and using conductive thread. So, keep that open mind and dive into the world of fashion tech. Make sure you document your project and share some photos with us.

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