If you just take a click through Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen’s work, you’ll probably find yourself coveting at least one of the pieces because of its sleek, geometric lines or the Judy Jetson meets Katniss-at-the-Capitol vibe.
But the wow-factor behind the Wearable Solar Project isn’t high fashion, it’s high tech. A coat and a dress from the collection are equipped with panels that can convert solar light into electricity after being exposed in full sun. We’ve had our love affair with clutches and backpacks that can charge up your cell and have been waiting for what’s next, fashionably speaking.
The first Wearable Solar project prototypes use wool, leather and rigid or flexible solar cells that can be exposed or hidden. Two hours in the sun will fully charge most smartphones. We could probably get away with it here in the Brit + Co. birthplace of San Fran, but we’re not sure that a wool-and-leather ensemble screams “sundress” around the globe.
While this is definitely the most Rent the Runway-worthy we’ve seen wearables look so far, the dress and coat with solar panels look like… a dress and a coat with solar panels. A more subtle solar design would signal a true shift, but this is still promising. Plus, van Dongen and her team are currently looking for backers to help them make the solar designs more wearable and ultimately more commercial. We’ll wait patiently for that and the Target diffusion line. We’ll give you guys ‘til 2020, k?
Would you wear a wear a Wearable Solar look? Whether at your home or in your handbag, how do you use solar energy?