On and off the runway, fashion that rivets our imagination is often lyrical, transformative and even subversive. Fashion, of course, is sensitive to the cultural mood of its time. With “renewable energy” being the current muse in politics, the Captian Electric collection of three electronic garments “Itchy, Sticky and Stiff” that harness energy from the body certainly captures the current zeit gesit.
Itchy: Technology revealed as part of the garment’s design aesthetic
Using inductive generators, kinetic energy from the human body is converted into electric energy and stored. Rather than attempting to conceal the generators and their operation, the garments are designed to make the electronics visible. All three dresses conceptually reference safety apparel as well as personal phobias and neurosis. The outcome is a set of other-worldly garments that constrict the body as the they soothe the psyche.
I previously wrote about Itchy, the electronic wearable decorated with dramatic, over-sized wool “necklaces” that illuminate when tugged or pulled.
Itchy: Pattern of LED lights illuminate
The pulling and tugging of the itchy wool necklaces charges a battery and illuminates a pattern of lights that rotate around the neckline and illuminate the wearer’s face.
With a femine sporty vibe, Sticky is a white leather dress with an athletic hoody and a dainty poof skirt. Beyond the play on form, the dress itself is subversively utilitarian. By impeding the natural movement of the body, the architecture of the dress forces the body to move in exaggerated motions. This forced movement generates energy to illuminate the luminescent pebbles hidden in the pocket.
The last of three garments, Stiff, shelters the wearer from the external world with a crustacean-like shell and hood. Wrapped in the peaceful embrace of the garment, the wearer can activate an MP3 player and speaker by massaging her own back against a hard surface. The project was developed by Joanna Berzowska’s design research studio XS Labs. Enjoy the video below. More information on technology coming soon.