Going beyond a graphic T, designer Joanne Hodge focused on pattern changing clothing with delicate details and magical effects for her master’s degree project at the University of Dundee. Joanne’s garments are both passively and actively interactive: they not only respond and react to their environment but provoke physical and social interactions with the garment itself through its form. The Reveal and Explore Micro-organism dress (above) calls the wearer to investigate the hidden and intimate folds of the garment to expose the invisible bacteria prints. Once kissed by sunlight, the UV light-sensitive bacteria become unveiled. The dress itself is a metaphor for the complexities of our make-up and personality. For me, it’s a playful call for transparency.
Touch Me Luggage Tag dress
Another more cheeky dress is the Touch Me Luggage Tag dress. The dress is patterned with thermochromatic luggage tags that loudly declare “Touch Me” to passersby.
Once touched, the tag slowly disappears along with the message.
Lastly, the Multifunctional Bed Spread dress is a garment crafted with a sustainable approach and imbued with an ideology that questions the current culture of “fast fashion.” Not only is it constructed from recycled goods, the garment itself quenches our thirst for multiple pieces of clothing by being designed as a multifunctional piece that can be worn differently by buttoning or belting in different ways. In addition, the garment is reversible and responds to the wear’s body temperature as well as environmental conditions. The concepts behind Joanne’s playful garments are enthusiastically idealistic— but it is her ideology that sets her garments apart from those that use smart inks more as a quirky gimmick. Her desire to create interactive garments that are continuously in flux with our shifting tastes and environments is a refreshing and meaningful approach to integrating smart materials into fashion.