When technology meets style

Fashion innovation

When technology meets style

Remember the electric light-bulb jumper Amitabh Bachchan wore in the popular song ‘Sara Zamana Haseeno Ka Deewana from Yaarana?’ That was 1981 and almost 3 decades later, a Berlin-based fashion label ElektroCouture has merged technology with fashion to create ensembles and accessories that are washable and easy to wear.

From small batteries to LEDs and from glass fibre optic material to laser, these gadget garments integrate technology with designs to create innovative, ready-to-wear fashion.
Brainchild of Lisa Lang, the bespoke electronic wearable techno fashion brand recently showcased at the Lakme Fashion Week. Lang, who calls herself technology nerd, feels the market had nothing for women who loved technology and this thought led to the formation of the fashion-tech house in 2014.

“Everything started with my personal frustration. I’ve been working in the technology world for ten years, in a male dominated environment. I never really had a problem with it, except that the ‘tech-uniform’ is T-shirts and jeans,” she tells Metrolife.

“I never wear T-shirts and jeans. I’m always fingernails, lipsticks, high heels and a technology nerd. When I started ElektroCouture, there was nothing in the market for women like me who are high-tech but fashionable. I wanted to enable strong women to show their love for technology,  without looking like circus ponies,” she adds.

According to Lang, women have responded well to their designs because the products don’t ‘turn them into robots’.

The fashion house uses technology like the way other designers use colour and cuts. Their brand philosophy is to inspire customers to embrace the magic of technology and help them combine it with the beauty of design. “We specialise in wearable light and I’m a huge fan of the emotional power of light technologies. We want to show the beauty of light and what all you can do with fashion,” says Lang.

The prêt-a-porter house also believes in collaborations to bring out interesting designs that resonate with buyers. One of their collections is ‘Bowties on Fire’ for which they teamed up with Bowtieswala from Warsaw and created a handmade couture bow tie made with glass fibre optic material and a smart battery system.

So what process do they follow while designing? “We always start with a story first. Like, how do we make the wearer feel like? And then we pick the technology and the design,” she says.

Since the garments are battery powered, Lang says that for washing, batteries should be taken out. “We’re already working on a new generation where you charge your garments wirelessly to improve usability.”

Lang feels they are on the forefront of innovation and would like to stay ahead in the competitive fashion world. “I question the race from the beginning. We’re doing what we want and how we want it. Fashion is in a huge flux now, lots of things are changing. While everyone is talking about it, we’re the ones already building it,” she says.
“Because,” she adds, “the best way to predict the future is to build it yourself.”

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