As a wise woman once (or… actually, DOZENS of times) said: “In fashion, you’re either in our you’re out.” Well, in technology, you’re in… and then you’re upgraded. So what happens when you combine those two worlds? We got a chance to see some of that firsthand at this year’s CES where some of our favorite wearable tech, stylish innovations and 3D printed you-name-it was all laid out in nice little booths in front of us. See some of our favorite fashionable finds below!
1. FashionWare Runway Show: We’ll put it plainly: The strides made in wearable fashion at this year’s CES didn’t come close to those made in wearable accessories. Garments at the FashionWare runway show, emceed by Project Runway alum Nick Verreos, largely remained conceptual in form and used technology as flashy embellishments (think: LED animation, sensors that respond to sound and light, and 3D printed embellishments) instead of the means to the end of something that truly signaled the future of fashion, or at least something that’s higher functioning than your average winter layer.
But what was innovative about the FashionWare showcase was that it was one of the first times we saw look after look styled out with wearables that really rounded out each outfit, sartorially speaking. From sleek gold Cuffs worn with a date-ready maxi to Aftershokz Bluez 2 wireless headphones paired with a fit-and-flare dress we can imagine being our go-to commute uniform, the styling tips were all pretty on point. Let’s hope this is a sign of what’s to come from Fashion Week. (Photos via @nickverreos)
2. Intel Edison Spider Dress: Why throw shade at a creeper when your dress can do it for you? That’s the idea behind the Spider Dress, the hands-down style show-stopper of CES. We mean, just look at it. But it’s not just a futuristic-looking feat: the 3D-printed armor is equipped with robotic, stinger-like limbs that strike to defend its wearer when it senses an aggressive motion. Created by Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht, who has dreamed up some of the most intricate “fashion tech” around, the skeletal bodice uses motion and respiration sensors to detect any physical invasion of personal space and monitor how calm the wearer is before it delivers its scary smackdown. In that way, the Intel Edison-built vesture is much more than a wearable. It actually acts as “the interface between the body and the external world.” Out creep the creeper? That’s one seriously smart dress.
3. iDerma: We’re really, really ready for our at-home pamper sessions to get a high-tech makeover of their own, something we can expect as early as June with the photofacial wearable iDerma. This full-coverage face shield uses the same pulsing, low-level light therapy just like the photofacial treatments you’d get at a spa to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pores and even out your skin tone in just eight weeks. Sure, the iDerma isn’t the most luxurious-looking beauty tool out there (the first prototypes are a little fencing helmet meets Stormtrooper mask) but the potential results — and money saved from booking pro appointments — are definitely worth the wear. You can snatch it on Indiegogo for a $99 pledge + $175 when it’s ready to ship.
4. Tory Burch for FitBit: IRL this collaboration felt and looked a little clunky on. Even a couple men standing by watching us eyeball the designs asked the million dollar wearable Q: “But, would you really wear that? Every day?” The answer was, “I’d wear it… some days!” The exciting thing about Tory Burch for FitBit (and FitBit in general) is that it shows you can stash the company’s activity tracker just about anywhere. While Tory’s cagey collaboration may not feel ideal for daily wear, let it inspire you, designers out there, to create collections on collections of similar jewelry.
5. Chromat LED + 3D Printed Corsets: Refinery29 had luxe, Las Vegas living nailed with their very own pad for the week pimped out with inventions and tech innovations of the stylish variety. Hanging up in the suite’s dream closet were enough items to make a techy fashionista’s head spin completely off, creepy robot style. Our favorites were Chromat’s gorgeous 3D printed bras and corsets. In our dream world, we would have been wearing those and smiling to ourselves every time someone in the Sands showroom tried to mansplain to us what 3D printing was. We’re familiar, actually, but thanks.
We also had our eyes on their LED corsets and headgear, yet these seemed slightly less wearable. But only slightly. (via @billiewhouse)
6. Ringly: We’ve slipped Ringly on our fingers before, but got to give it a real test drive at CES. The verdict? It took all of our strength not to walk out with one on each of our fingers, but we made it. The ring feels good, looks even better and its notifications are somehow calming.
7. Opening Ceremony MICA: This wearable has been the chosen accessory for any and all sugar plum fairies dancing in our LED-lit dreams over the last few months, but we didn’t get a chance to test drive the tech part of this connected cuff just yet. Another wearable in the Refinery pad, this one was at least there to try on. Gorgeous, we confirmed, but its utility is still to be tested.
8. Panasonic Beauty Smart Mirror: Easily the most exciting, most futuristic tech we got to try out at CES was the Panasonic augmented reality smart mirror. We sat down in the beauty chair and realized that our reflections will someday be worth a thousand words as well. This prototype performed a skin check up on our dry, dessert/conference-parched face and tried to make us the fairest in the land with a full-on makeup trial that included fancy eyeshadow, lashes, a brow touch-up and a mustache for good measure.
9. 3D Printed Fashion In the Flesh/Filament: 3D printed fashion is happening, people. Seeing and touching it in out in the wild meant we were able to test how wearable said fashions are, and we’re happy to report that there are a few styles out there that would actually complement your curves. They still have the general look and feel of chainmail, but at least they move a little more like fabric. The most ready to “wear” fashion we saw was the Lost Luggage collection on display at 3D Systems’ massive booth. We totally could have used that weekender to stash all of our CES loot.
Ooing, ahhing and subsequently pinning a pair of 3D printed shoes is one thing, seeing the soles being made in front of you is, in all fairness, A LOT COOLER. We didn’t get to try any on, but we also have a lot of non-3D printed shoes that lack in comfort so can’t say that’s always our top goal when shopping.
10. Swarovski + Misfit: If that Tori Burch bracelet isn’t quite glamorous enough for you, these Swarovski wearables ought to do it. The legendary crystal company has teamed up with Misfit – an activity tracker that measures your daily activities and quality of sleep – on a line of jewelry. The next incarnation will even be solar-powered. Unlike the Tori Burch pieces this line offers a little more variety. Track your activity using a watch-like bracelet with a giant crystal as the face or with a sleek necklace with a ring-shaped pendant. These pieces range in price from $69 to $249 and are already available for pre-order.
11. Garmin + Jonathan Adler: Spunky home goods designer, Jonathan Adler has teamed up with Garmin on a collection of activity trackers preppy enough to add an extra spring in your step based on the design alone. The line, which is meant to include styles for both men and women, will offer vivid patterns and bold colors. Look at its pretty CES display case. The designs are created to fit Garmin’s vivofit and the newly announced vivofit 2. Both devices track steps, calories, distance and sleep, however the vivotfit 2 also includes a backlight and audible alerts. This collection is set to be available for purchase in the first quarter of 2015 and will set you back $139 for the vivofit 2 or $40 for vivofit.
Did you follow this year’s CES? What gadget are you most excited about? Share with us in the comments below.