Saturday, April 3, 2010

GalaxyDress by CuteCircuit...

Interactive clothing designer Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz, owner of CuteCircuit and creator of the famous HugShirt aim to light up future fashion with the GalaxyDress concept design. The illuminated fabric is made by using thin, 2 x 2 mm LEDs, hand embroider them on a layer of silk with conductive yarn traces for connections. The resulting LED fabric retains the stretchability and drapeability like any other conventional fabric. The GalaxyDress is made off 24,000 of such tiny full color LEDs while using the power of two household bulbs according the designers which still means a lot of power needs to run for 30 minutes to an hour. Smart is the concept of splitting the power source = Battery into smaller units by using a couple of smaller batteries to distribute the weight of one big battery all over the dress which will make it more comfortable to wear. The GalaxyDress hasn’t been worn yet by any woman but it will be the center piece of an exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. While the concept of a full color changing fabric is highly appealing, the GalaxyDress design leaves a lot of opportunities for improvement. We like the animation pattern, shifting gradually from one color to another but what we do not like at all is the pixelated appearance. Although for layers of silk chiffon is used, the LEDs are too visible, taking away the magical effect of illuminated textiles. Would it have been too difficult to add more diffusion on top of the LEDs? The GalaxyDress as it is presented looks like a huge, somewhat wearable display with pixel synchronization problems. This dress is more suitable as billboard with animation than serving as fashion statement.

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