A Fairytale Fashion Collection Debuts at Eyebeam NYC

[gallery]Fashion technologist Diana Eng of fairytalefashion.org showcases her debut technology-infused fashion collection at Eyebeam NYC. Here's how she describes the collection:

The Fairytale Fashion Collection uses technology to create magical clothing in real life. Electronics, mechanical engineering, and mathematics are used to create clothing with blooming flowers, changing colors and transforming shapes. Research and development for the Fairytale Fashion collection are shared online at FairytaleFashion.org as an educational tool that teaches about science, math, and technology through fashion. Fairytale Fashion was created with the support of Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the United States. Continue reading on Flickr.

Photos from flickr feature the following projects:

Twinkle Dress and Twinkle Caridgan LED circuits are hand embroidered with silverized thread and a custom sewable circuit board Twinkle Pad, developed specially for the Fairytale Fashion Collection. Twinkle Dress's removable grey silk chiffon twinkle pad circuit overlays washable black cotton American Apparel dreww. Twinkle Cardigan's removable black wool melton shoulder patches overlay a cotton sweater.

Twinkle Skirt LED circuits are hand embroidered with silverized thread and a custom sewable circuit board Twinkle Pad, developed specially for the Fairytale Fashion Collection.

Puff Sleeve Jacket Lavender cotton canvas jacket with deployable structure pleated sleeves.

Inflatable Dress Cream silk chiffon, draped over plastic inflatables and white silk flowers.

More on Diana Eng.

Diana Eng launches Fairytale Fashion

DIY wearable technology expert Diana Eng has launched a site called Fairytale Fashion in collaboration with Eyebeam. Here's how she describes the work: "Fairytale Fashion is using technology to create a collection of magical clothing in real life (with blooming flowers, transforming shapes, changing colors, etc.) for Feb. 2010. We share our work in weekly research and development web videos. You can help us create the designs by answering the design question at the end of each video."

Check out some of her interesting videos here and start getting some hands-on experience with some of the materials that she's exploring.

Blogging in motion

Wearable technology designers Diana Eng & Emily Albinski co-founded Black Box Nation, a fashion technology company, where they created their Blogging in Motion project during a Yahoo! hack day back in 2006. The purse has an integrated GPS and a camera that is connected to a basic stamp. It measures your movement by steps. Every 20 or so steps triggers the camera to snap a photo, which it then sends to a blog automatically via your cell phone that you presumably have clipped into the hardware.

What's interesting about this project is the idea of wearable technology communicating with online sources such as social networking sites and blogs. Imagine being able to keep up with all of your social networking sites through passive and natural gestures.

More info on the project's team via Black Box Nation.

Diana Eng's inflatable dress

This is an older project, but still worth a reminder. Diana Eng, in collaboration with Emily Albinski, created this gorgeous dress way back in 2003, which ended up making its way on the cover of ID Magazine. The designers used this project to explore how they could use electronics to change the shape and color of a gown. The dress inflates to allow you to change it's shape. Pump up the back or the sides to change its silhouette.

The designers made no attempt to hide the electronics, rather, they exposed the spaghetti-ball of wires and components as the main aesthetic. This was a pretty outrageous design at the time. Since then, inflatable and shape-shifting garments have been a topic of exploration from designers such as Hussein ChalayanExtra-Soft (XS) labsYing Gao, and Teresa Almeida.

Capturing moments of excitement

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Designer Diana Eng created this heartbeat hoodie that captures moments of excitement throughout your day. It's equipped with a heart rate sensor and a camera that snaps a photo whenever your heart rate increases. The photos automatically upload to a blog that you can refer to or share with your friends. According to Eng, it is intended as a form of involuntary blogging.

What I love about this project is that it uses wearable technology as a way to sense and capture both reactions with our bodies and the context of our surroundings. Designers should constantly explore how technology can enable or enhance those relationships. Heartbeat hoodie succeeds in merging body sensing, environmental context, and social communication into a simple and beautiful concept.