A Wearable Tech Fashion Show

Co-presented with the Gladstone Hotel

Friday May 13th, 2016

In the Ballroom at the Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario

7pm – VIP Reception
8pm – Doors & Video Art
9pm – Runway Show
10pm – After Party

Featuring works by:
Alexis Boyle & Marisa Gallemit
Barbara Layne & Lauren Osmond
Gregory Phillips (Spandrel Media) & Wendy Ng (Dystropolis)

Wearables Performance created by:

Live Visuals provided by:

Grooves courtesy of:

Photography by:  Natalie Logan

The only way to withstand the future is to be timeless. Although wearable technology is often imagined as electronic and digital, innovations in textiles and garment construction promise to be far more useful and sustainable in these volatile times. Future Proof was an experimental fashion show that featured collaborations between teams of artists, designers, and technologists investigating this delicate balance between progress and practicality. Using diverse materials and methods of construction, each set of looks explored a different facet of wearable tech that begs the increasingly important question: How can fashion be revolutionary yet everlasting?

Project Descriptions

Haut Filtrage

Filters are vital to our digitally mediated lives: In a landscape bombarded by signals, filters help us see the forest for the trees. Filters can block or boost information, obscure or enhance, authenticate or discredit. Can our clothing be a filter for the body? For our identity? Who is applying the filter, and who decides what is kept and what is lost? How do filters challenge our everyday perception?

Using augmented reality and digital manufacturing, including 3D printing and textile design, the project explored the implications of the filtered body within the public (surveillor) and private (surveilled) realms. The audience participated using their own smartphones: By specifically filtering for specific electromagnetic wavelengths, viewers gleaned different perspectives or reveal hidden information encoded into the garments’ materials.

Photography by:  Natalie Logan

Maxwell’s Equations

James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1879) was a physicist who pioneered the theories of electromagnetic fields that form the basis for wireless technology today. The project, Maxwell’s Equations, consisted of interactive garments that were inspired by three of the laws that describe magnetic and electrical fields: Gauss’ Law, Faraday’s Law, and Ampere’s Law. Each garment considered one of these Laws in relation to their shape or surface structure while drawing inspiration from 19th-century fashion. They also featured a directional patch antenna made of silver threads laid directly onto the fabric. The design of the patch was based on Maxwell’s original illustrations.

When the wearers were physically aligned, a wireless connection was made. This communication was used to trigger the illumination of the garments in which the strength of the connection changed the patterns of light. In this way, the movements of the wearers revealed the invisible electromagnetic fields surrounding them.

Lauren Osmond worked with Barbara Layne and her team at Studio subTela in the antenna design (Gen Moisan), proof of antenna (Tahseen Mustafa), laying of LED array (Marc Beaulieu), circuit design (Donna Legault and Hesam Khoshneviss), programming (Martin Peach), and construction (Claire Nadon and Ryth Kesselring).

Photography by:  Natalie Logan

Gimme Shelter

Alexis Boyle and Marisa Gallemit repurposed industrial materials to create organic looking wearable works reminiscent of shelters. This artist-team underscored the importance of partnership by requiring two models to activate one piece. Togetherness is emphasized as necessary for physical and emotional survival in the isolating landscape of super-modernity where most interactions and transactions are mediated by machines. In anticipation of a dystopic future, Boyle and Gallemit’s spirit of participation and play utilized human connection as a structural component of their work. Arms were joined so as not to lose one another, to catch and carry food, and to erect a safe dwelling. By combining modern materials with traditional techniques of hand-weaving and knotting the inextricably linked histories of humans and textile technologies was acknowledged. Boyle and Gallemit created a glimpse into a world where clothing, shelter, and community are intertwined.

Photography by:  Natalie Logan

Detroit 2311: A Requiem For That Which Once Was

A wearables performance comprised of a series of love songs for the ghosts of Motown trapped in computers. Voice-activated graphics, live vocalist, and dead musical accompaniment.

Creative Director: Maziar Ghaderi
Vocalist: Kimya Hypolite
Java Programmer: Do Park
Costume Designer: Egan O’Sullivan
Set Design & Fabrication: Umar Ansari
Videographer & Story Editor: Patricia Marcoccia
Consultant—Music Theory: John Matthew Tennant

Photography by:  Natalie Logan