Tag: fashion

Online Shoppers Can Play Dress-Up With a Robotic Torso

By Joseph Calamia | July 22, 2010 10:43 am

Add one more job to the list–along with vacuuming floors and assisting in surgeries, now robots can try on clothes for you. The company Fits.me is developing a robotic torso for online shoppers that can morph to match shoppers’ body dimensions, creating virtual fitting rooms on clothing websites.

Men can try a demo version of the product on the company’s site. After entering measurements such as neck and waste size, and selecting from three torso types, the site displays what you might look like in a particular shirt. The torso doesn’t morph in real time; instead, the site pulls from a database of pictures–2,000 body size combinations, the company reports, systematically showing users if pinstripes in small, medium, or large will make them look fat. Shirt sellers Hawes and Curtis is already testing a version of the system on their site.

As reported by the BBC, the company next hopes to develop a version of the torso for women. Maarja Kruusma a professor of biorobotics at the University of Tallinn who helped the company develop the system, told the BBC that it’s a difficult task. Women’s clothing comes in more intricate styles, and their torsos are more complicated to model, she says:

“You can’t just take a male mannequin and put breasts on it. That doesn’t work.”

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

How to Make High Fashion From Bacterial Slime

By Joseph Calamia | July 13, 2010 1:10 pm

biocoutureIt’s not Prada, Gucci, or Dolce & Gabbana. That head-turning jacket is a bacteria cellulose original. Bio-Couture clothing transforms a hardening ooze–yanked from tubs of yeast, bacteria, and green tea–into high fashion.

It may sound a bit like a Project Runway challenge, but according to the Bio-Couture website, the microbe-made clothes are meant as a sustainability project. The bacteria forms a congealing fiber (video), which designers can roll into thin sheets to make the base of each garment. As reported by ecouterre, where we found this story, overlaying pieces of the sheets as they dry will “felt” them together into a fashionable whole, without the need for stitching. Examples of the Bio-Couture’s latest pieces are currently on display as part of a nine-month exhibit called “TrashFashion” at London’s Science Museum.

Suzanne Lee and her design team at the School of Fashion & Textiles at Central Saint Martins in London hope to make even more complicated pieces using this technique–as perhaps evidenced by pictures on the project’s website of mannequins submerged in bacterial slime.

“Our ultimate goal is to literally grow a dress in a vat of liquid…”

Fancy color accoutrements come from dyes made of foodstuffs like port wine, curry powder, cherries, and beetroot. And the whole garment is compostable once passé–eliminating any evidence of past fashion faux pas.

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Image: Bio-Couture

Circuit Board Chic: Motherboards Recycled Into Shoes & Underwear

By Smriti Rao | April 7, 2010 1:43 pm

Upgrading to a newer, sleeker computer is always fun, but it can leave some clutter around in the form of old hardware. If you can’t recycle the old junky parts, perhaps you’ll consider refashioning them into brand new shoes, sneakers, or even underwear–thus putting the chic in circuit boards. Here are some ideas on what you can do with old electronics parts.

Exhibit A:

PC_Art_0042

Artist Steven Rodrig shows how to re-use circuit boards to create fancy heels that are guaranteed to put the skip back in your step. These decidedly uncomfortable-looking shoes will be a welcome addition to the closet of a woman who already owns uncomfortable stilettos. If she must teeter in pain, let her do it in style–circuit board style.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!

For Guilt-Free Fur, Wear a Coat Made From an Invasive Water Rat

By Eliza Strickland | January 25, 2010 3:02 pm

nutriaBy Anna Rothschild

At a time when wearing fur is generally considered a fashion faux pas, designers like Oscar de le Renta and Billy Reid are taking a big fashion risk. They are selling pelts from an unusual source: the nutria.

Ever heard of the nutria? It’s a nocturnal, semi-aquatic rodent that weighs around 12 pounds. It has the body of a beaver, the tail of a rat, the feet of a duck, and it wears its nipples on the sides of its body rather than on its belly. It is also destroying Louisiana’s wetlands.

In the 1930s, Louisiana fur farms imported these animals from Argentina for their supple pelts. Unfortunately, some nutria got loose and made Louisiana’s marshes their new home. As the demand for nutria fur diminished in the 1980s, these animals went from posh fashion statement to ecological pest.

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Fashion Grows an Eco-Conscience: Waterless Dye Debuts at Fashion Week

By Melissa Lafsky | September 15, 2009 11:36 am

ecodyemodelweb.jpgFashion has been beefing up its  environmental conscience (if not its models) over the past few years—and with good reason. The production, transport, and disposal of clothing is a serious source of pollution, with the textile industry holding steady as the third largest consumer of water, and the source of up to 20 percent of industrial pollution.

This year, it’s fabric dye that’s getting the Green treatment. Coloring a pound of fabric can take up to 75 gallons of water, and a single dress or pair of pants can use up to 25 gallons.

So what if we could dye all our clothes without water? That was the idea tackled by Colorep, a California-based technology development company that created a new way to color fabric using air rather than H2O. Called AirDye, the process applies non-plastisol-based inks within garment fibers, rather than as a layer on top (which is how it’s done with water).

This Fashion Week (yup, it’s going on now—you can tell by all the hungry-looking Eastern European waifs roaming the streets) the AirDye system made its debut at the Costello Tagliapietra show, in which the clothes (see photo) were dyed almost entirely without water.

Granted, until this new dyeing method hits jeans and T-shirts, your DISCOVER staff likely won’t be testing it out ourselves.

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Image: Courtesy of LLR Consulting

MORE ABOUT: fashion, New York, pollution

Robot Model Struts the Catwalk in Japan

By Allison Bond | July 27, 2009 6:00 pm

girl robotRobots may soon be able to travel through your veins and recycle your garbage—and as of this week, they can also model clothes. A robot model named Miim (not the one pictured at left) sported haute couture in designer Yumi Katsura‘s recent bridal fashion show, according to The U.K. Sun.

The  humanoid bot, which was designed at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, is five-foot-two-inches tall, which seems pretty short for the fashion world. On the other hand, it’s probably pretty easy for a robot to maintain a runway model’s stick-thin physique…a diet of organic plant material isn’t exactly fattening.

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Image: flickr / Wedding Photography by Jon Day

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: fashion, robots

In Japan, a Robot Works the Catwalk

By Rachel Cernansky | March 16, 2009 1:17 pm

humanoid-fashion-robot-2009.jpgShe introduced herself as “cybernetic human HRP-4C” at her first press conference, and charmed her audience just as any supermodel would. She smiled, struck seductive poses, and even made mistakes that her inventors attributed to nerves. Except that this head-turner is a fashion-bot, and she’ll make her catwalk debut in Tokyo on March 23.

The model-bot met a smaller crew of journalists this week at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. They transmitted commands by Bluetooth and she acted accordingly, tapping into the 42 fashion-model-like movements that she’s been programmed to emulate. She gave the wrong facial expressions a couple times, but her inventors say that was because all the noisy cameras confused her sound recognition sensors.

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: fashion, robots
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