While the usefulness and longevity of the fashion industry is constantly in debate today, one thing for certain is that it does provide constant innovation. That’s why in honor of the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week, the Science: [So what? So everything] campaign has released a list of 25 of the most influential fashion innovations of past, present and future. According to the campaign, some of the great fashion inventions of the past century were: Spandex, Rubber-soled shoes, Nylon, and Breathable fabrics (among others), apparently in the new millennium we can look forward to such garments as:
· Spray-on clothing – temporary dresses can been created by spraying benign chemical formulations directly towards the body, distributing thousands of fibres across the wearer’s skin, which then bind together to form disposable garments. Clothing will become a matter of ‘spray and go’, bringing a new meaning to throwing an outfit on.
· Fashion that controls your environment – on a smaller scale this could be clothing that heats or cools on demand; on a wider scale, nanotechnology within fabrics could make built interiors adjust their smell, colour, temperature, texture, taste and sounds to suit the wearer’s mood.
· Emotion/health controlling clothing – clothing might soon be able to monitor the body’s respiratory system, heartbeat and temperature to control your health and mood, activating fragrances and active materials to ensure the well-being of the individual. The possibilities for application are endless, such as clothing that releases menthol during an asthma attack, or clothing that senses physical attraction and release hormones which attract the opposite sex.
· Energy-scavenging fabrics – nanotechnology might soon be able to use the wearer’s kinetic energy to convert it into electricity for powering small electronic devices. Practical applications could be in the clothes of hikers and soldiers, powering devices that could potentially save lives, and this could become a regular feature in our clothing to power our mobile phones, MP3 players and more. Scientists are also examining how energy-scavenging fabrics could convert low-frequency vibrations into electricity, without affecting the look of the clothing as nanowires are entwined with fabric fibres.
The Science [So what? So everything] campaign was launched in January 2009 to create “a more science literate society and highlight the science behind people’s everyday lives.”