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Isa Arfen’s ready-to-wear Spring 2015 collection featured 60’s inspired looks, including a standout dress made from guipure circle lace with studded geometric lines. Although the 1960’s pre-dates the existence of this technology by about a decade, the solderless breadboard exhibits a distinct likeness to the dress in question. This board allows one to experiment and prototype electronic circuits without the use of metal soldering of wires between components. The conversion of Isa Arfen’s dress to a wearable breadboard would create the perfect hybrid of high fashion and technology.

- Chris Ing, | #iOnFashion, NYFW 2014

The angular patterns used in Jonathan Simkhai’s ready-to-wear Spring Summer 2015 collection are inspired by fragments of shattered glass. An entire field of research called “fracture mechanics” explores the propagation of cracks in materials. By performing controlled impact studies of projectiles at plates of glass, researchers have determined that the number of radial cracks around the impact point can be predicted from projectile speed and plate thickness. In forensic science, the application of fracture mechanics can be used to determine the trajectory and velocity of bullets by analyzing the cracks formed in windshields or glass after the projectile impacts with the surface.

This type of research is also done to test the strength of advanced materials. In the GIF above, filmed at GE’s Global Research Center, a glass jar shatters under 5,000 lbs. of force. Advanced materials, like the ceramics that go into GE jet engines, have to pass this rigorous test. While everyday objects shatter, these advanced materials are designed to take the pressure.

- Chris Ing, | #iOnFashion, NYFW 2014 

In Felipe Oliveira Baptista’s nautical-inspired spring collection for Lacoste, traditional items like rain jackets were outfitted with transparent hood visors and waterproof fabrics. Waterproofs are made by coating natural or synthetic fibers with a polymer like PVC or rubber that can be tuned for breathability. At a molecular level, these materials have a characteristic non-polar surface to prevent water molecules from penetrating the layer. A more advanced version of this can be seen in the GIFs above showing the superhydrophobic surfaces GE researchers are developing. Perhaps soon these surfaces will make their debut on the runway. 

- Chris Ing, | #iOnFashion, NYFW 2014 | Photo credit © Yannis Vlamos.