The repertoire of DIY books that fuse fashion and craft with technology is quickly growing and the latest, and much awaited addition, is Fashion Geek by Diana Eng. Many of you might be familiar with Diana’s geek chic designs as a contestant of Season 2 on Project Runway or from the 2006 Maker Faire. Diana is young, smart and talented. She’s one to keep an eye on —in due time, she will certainly have her own haute tech fashion line. Now-a-days she’s writing craft books to inspire others to begin experimenting with fashion and technology.
Fashion Geek has 13 fun, crafty projects that are broken down into two categories: accessories and clothing. For those of you who prefer a glue gun to a soldering iron, there are a variety of creative projects (ranging from decorative flowerbud earphones to a hip pair of EL wire illuminated kicks) that don’t require you to work with any electronics. Personally, my favorite projects require a tad bit of soldering which Diana covers in the opening pages of her book. The standouts in the book are Blooming Buttons, Headphone Hoodie, and Twinkle Toes.
Blooming Buttons are bulbous, LED buttons added to a winter coat. Made from plastic containers you get out of a gum ball machine, LEDs and a reed switch, your buttons light up when buttoned (otherwise the LEDs are off). I’m partial to this project because I like the gesture of buttoning and unbuttoning as a mechanism for controlling electronics.
The Headphone Hoodie eliminates the need for you to dig through your bag for your headphones by directly embedding the headphones into the hood of your sweater. The wires are replaced by conductive thread and the project is washable too — just cover the headphone portion in a plastic bag and handwash the rest.
If you, like me, covet the LED kicks that every kid under 10 wears, then you will love Twinkle Toes. A pair of sparkly heels that light up with each step, Twinkle Toes use a pedometer as the switch. Overall, I think Fashion Geek is filled with fun and well-designed projects that will certainly get you hooked into crafting technology. Available via Amazon