After seeing all these mind-blowing and stunning technologies at WearIt Festival Berlin 2018, my life feels rather simple. Amazon’s Alexa, being the most advanced tech device in my actual household to date, seems like an ancient piece of plastic to me. 

The download of information we experienced during 48 hours of WearIt 2018 is so dense that, ideally, I need a brain-wave converter that allows me to translate all my thoughts and experiences into words. To those of you who attended the festival, I am talking about OLIVIA HAAS and ULF SCHÖNEBERG from theUnbelievable Machine company, who showed us how to translate brain-waves into music.

Back to the present, though – I have to do some thinking myself, which allows me to reflect and relive the greatest highlights. Let’s get started with the question, what does the future of fashion look like?

All images © Wearit Berlin/Michael Wittig

Well, the number, breadth, and diversity of companies working on revolutionizing the fashion industry stand for disruptive change. If I had to put it down to one word, the future of fashion will be based on interconnectedness.

I am referring to the connection of four key elements that have gained consistent attention by nearly all 40 speakers. It is the connection between

(1) technology,

(2) the body,

(3) the textiles that it is covered by, and

(4) the environment we find ourselves in.

Between these four elements, we can define different levels of connectivity, such as technology with textiles (VERONIKA HAERDL), technology with our bodies (MOON RIBAS or NICOLE CIFANI), but also environment with textiles (JULIA KÖRNER) as well as the surrounding environment (INNA ARMSTRONG).

A glowing example where textiles and tech come together to form a super practical, long overdue piece of wearables is the “parka that heats itself.” Imagine a freezing winter night, enjoying the Christmas Market in Berlin-Mitte with your friends and wearing a jacket that keeps you warm all evening long. Veronika Haerdl, Senior Design Specialist at Strellson, presents their latest fashion tech piece. And to the disappointment of the female world, this parka is currently only available for men.

 

 

 

 

 


All images ©
Strellson & © Wearit Berlin/Michael Wittig

An outstanding example of exceptional textile design thinking inspired by the environment is Julia Körner’s work. She takes inspiration from plant-based structures, shapes, and forms to design and 3D-print high-end fashion pieces. And her work can be admired in the record-smashing “Black Panther” movie. In collaboration with Ruth E. Carter, costume designer for the movie, she created the 3D-printed crown and shoulder piece worn by Queen Ramonda, a character played by Angela Bassett.


All images © Julia Korner

Another level of connectivity is represented in MOON RIBAS’s work. Being a cyborg artist, her goal is to extend human senses, i.e., allowing us to experience unprecedented senses. For example, via an online seismic sensor implanted in her feet.

Moon created the “seismic sense.” This allows her to perceive earthquakes taking place anywhere in the planet through vibrations in real time.

All images © Alex Thebez

A different, rather minimally invasive way of connecting our body with tech is used in Matrix Industries’ work. Nicole Cifani, VP of Business Development at Matrix Industries, explains how thermoelectric technology converts body heat into electric power. The MATRIX PowerWatch is the world’s first smartwatch that you don’t have to charge. Meaning, we can in fact become a walkable power bank.

All images © Matrix Industries

INNA ARMSTRONG literally adds a new dimension to wearable tech. With augmented reality, CleverBooks revolutionizes the way how kids learn at school. Topics come to life by visualizing them in 3D, projected on your favorite shirt.

All images © Clever Books

When thinking of the connection of our bodies with the environment, we also realize that sustainable, responsible use of our resources is of crucial importance. AMANDA PARKES is Chief Innovation Officer of FTL Ventures, a newly launched hybrid fund and experimental lab focused on sustainable technologies for the future of fashion. Laboratory-engineered cruelty free leather, water, and odor repellent natural fabrics or bio-fabricated silk fibers are at our fingertips and build the foundation for today’s fashion designs. One could argue that the future of fashion is already here, and we just have to cut through the noise and watch out for it.

Once again, WearIt Festival 2018 showed us that the future of fashion is continuously evolving. Technology, innovative textiles, body, environment, and even more – all seem to play a crucial role in its evolutionary process. At the intersection and connection of these elements, we find new, unexplored opportunities.

Connectivity allows us to boost creativity. Isn’t this what fashion is all about?

Marketing Manager