The Illuminated fashion line-up

[gallery] From the stage to the shelves, illuminated clothing seems to be paving the way right now for wearable technology to reach a wider audience. As I was once skeptical about "blinking" garments, these designers are integrating lights in ways that connect emotionally, making this an exciting area in wearable technology. Here's a line-up of incredible explorations along with products that are making it to market:

Vega Jacket by Angella Mackey One of the first illuminated garment to make it to market! This absolutely gorgeous jacket includes integrated lights that help you get around town safely on your bike. "Whether for fun, fashion or visibilty at night, it can be for commuting by foot or riding on a bicycle. However you express yourself, this is something new and exciting to play with—a unique addition to your wardrobe." Continue reading.

Black-Eye Peas Super Bowl couture by Anouk Wipprecht In collaboration with Bea Akerlund, they created stage outfits embedded with technology for the Black-Eye Pea's Super Bowl half time performance. The garments included Luminex shoes worn by the lead singer, Fergie, that Anouk created with master shoemaker Rene van den Berg. Continue reading.

I'm Not A Robot collection by Moon Berlin A collection of illuminated garments created by Brigitte Franken and Christian Bruns of Moon Berlin. The collection includes dresses, tops, and pants with integrated lights and illuminating woven fibers. Continue reading.

Into the Deep collection by Vega Wang This gorgeous collection that consist of light-emitting garments. “The concept for my collection came from watching a BBC DVD called Deep Blue." Continue reading her interview.

Kenetic Dress by CuteCircuit The KineticDress captures the wearer’s movements and interaction with others and display this data through the electroluminescent embroidery that covers the external skirt section of the dress. Continue reading.

Pedal Pusher by Syuzi Pakhchyan In collaboration with Magdalena Paluch, Pedal Pusher is an ongoing investigation into the biking community for women. The stylish shoe illuminates for safetey and is powered by the bike's pedals. Continue reading.

Stage and red-carpet couture by CuteCircuit CuteCircuit has been creating a collection of stage and red-carpet couture including a hand pleated silk chiffon dress embedded with over 5400 LEDs, and displays video from a real-time stream for Safura, Katy Perry's illuminated red carpet dress for the MET Ball, and NYC Boys debut performance trousers and shirts that changed color and brightness in synchronicity with the choreographed performance. All controlled in realtime by the lighting DJ. Continue reading.

Even more light-up clothing

[gallery] However long it's been around in the wearable tech field, there seems to have been an explosion of light-up clothing in the news these days (read an earlier post about this topic). Now, I'm still not convinced that illuminating clothing is the best use of wearable technology, but it's tough to ignore all of the hype form celebreties performing and walking down the red carpet in illuminating clothing to DIY hackers creating Light Bright LED garments.

Here's some of the hype:

  • According to, there's a trend in light-up clothing including the Light Bright LED vest created by Erik Johnson that includes a total of 1,536 three color (RGB) LEDs
  • Recently, Cute Circuit has created a variety of celebrity dresses including a design for Francesca Rosella and a light-up dress for singer Katy Perry for an event that she attended at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Met Costume Institute Gala
  • Rihanna and Moritz Waldemeyer lit up the stage with an LED dress for her ‘Last Girl On Earth tour‘
  • Fashion designer Zaldy created outfits for the likes of Gwen StefaniBritney Spears or Jennifer Lopez designed for Michael Jackson’s ‘This is It tour’ his complete stage outfit including a illuminated Tuxedo for the ‘Billie Jean’ performance.

I'm still waiting for that killer light-up app that brings meaning to the functionality. Perhaps it will come from the $15 million consortium of leading companies and institutes in lighting and flexible electronics like Holst Centre/TNO, IMEC, Freudenberg, TU Berlin, Ohmatex under the lead of Philips with it’s inventive technology called ‘Lumalive‘. According to talk2myshirt "PLACE-it, the short form for ‘Platform for Large Area Conformable Electronics by InTegration‘ is a newly formed initiative under the umbrella of the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Program." I hope to see some real innovation come out of this research.

An actually cool light-up solution is a stage costume made and designed by Wei-Chieh Shih. According to fashioningtech, "the nylon suit is embedded with 200 laser diodes, transforming the performer into a mobile light show."

Now we're getting somewhere...

Images from and