Techno Fashion: 2016 Highlights

The Met Ball, May

To kick things off we rewind to May. This year’s theme was ‘Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology’ – doesn’t it just roll off the tongue? In other words, it focussed on the rivalry between hand-made and machine-made garments. The event was sponsored by Apple, emphasising this year’s technological theme. Hence this year marked a change in the traditional spirit of the ball, which usually rejects the presence of technology by banning mobile phones and social media beyond the red carpet. Chainmail and metallics, deconstructed dresses and unusual fabrics were just some of the ways celebrities celebrated the techno theme.

Chanel’s Data Centre Collection, September

Fast forward to September and the Chanel show at Paris Fashion Week, one of the most anticipated fashion events and indicator of some of the biggest upcoming trends. For a brand like Chanel, that embraces the classic, the Data Centre set this year was unexpected. Two Chanel-clad Stormtroopers opened the show, followed by models sporting digitally inspired and created prints along with light-up bags and a refreshed version of the trademark two-tone pumps in a robotic silver shade. Does this mean techno is officially in?

Intel and Hussein Chalayan Collaboration, September

Also at Paris was Hussein Chalayan’s show featuring Intel- definitely not your average fashion collaboration. Already known for his experimentation with the relationship between garments and technology, Chalayan’s SS’17 collection distinctly exhibited the collision of the two worlds. As models walked the runway, monitors within their glasses detected their heart rate, breathing rate and EEG (brain waves). This data was then transmitted to a projector in their belts, which created visual projections of their stress levels on a wall beside them.

Beth Marchant

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