Technology. It’s now at the heart of our world. Mobile innovations, social media platforms and digital resources are at our disposal and effect our lives daily. In the past, we’ve reaped the benefits of technology given to us as the consumer. Now more than ever, we are also front and center because we have the ability to engage in conversations that shape popular culture.
In recent years, technology in the fashion industry has changed how we consume and buy. We’ve seen a market fill itself with addictive social networking platforms, curation websites, new sales models like Warby Parker or even resources that help with discovery such as Fab. Today, technology is often seen as these types of innovations, especially with the abundance of startups trying to launch.
However, innovation has always been a part of society and shaped the way we have progressed, but is oftentimes overlooked because these advances have always been a part of our life.
Fashion and Technology, an exhibition running through May 8 at the Museum at FIT shows the impact of technology over the past 250 years to present day and poses the question as to what technology is while showing how it has changed culture.
On display, you’ll see how the manufacturing industry was impacted with the introduction of the sewing machine and jacquard loom, which allowed the masses to have access to woven textiles, something that was originally available only to the wealthy.
The introduction of materials such as petroleum, cellophane, PVC and neoprene offered functional benefits such as rubber on the soles of shoes for protection, comfort and shelf life. Aesthetically, these materials helped designers create vibrant silhouettes and new textures such as Pierre Cardin’s iconic “Cardine” dress using 3D molded technology.
The exhibition also shows how culture was impacted. Visually, designers depicted periods of change on clothing. An Art Deco blouse showing skyscrapers or a rocket print on a dress to represent the man on the moon are just some examples. There were also more functional responses. The bicycle ensemble, with wide leg pants let riders move with ease to help keep up with societies’ new method of transportation.
Recent fashion pieces on display shows just what’s to come in the future. Mandy Coon’s collection made with a MIDI file, or technology that allows computers and musical instruments to talk to one another shows this fashion technology convergence. LEDs on garments, pieces that monitor heart beats and the integration of social media on everything from the runway to clothing are signs of what’s ahead.
Learn more at the The Museum at FIT
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