The dress works like this: it’s made of efoil, a new textile that is engineered to change opacity, and connected to an integral heartbeat monitor. When the wearer’s heartbeat accelerates, such as with the approach of a lover, the dress turns transparent. Part of an ongoing collaborative series about intimacy, technology, and fashion, the Intimacy 2.0 dress is the work of FashionTech designer/engineer Anouk Wipprecht and Dutch Studio Roosegaarde.
The majority of Anouk Wipprecht’s FashionTech clothing, a wonderful mix of robotics, artificial intelligence, and wearable electronics, features a fierce beauty, like powerful exoskeletons, clothing that is ours to command. This FashionTech isn’t designed to make us pretty, but to make us powerful, a wearable host-system that can poke the eye out of any stupid bastard that approaches us with evil intent. The fierceness of most FashionTech, clothing that will bring a smile of delight to the eyes of powerful women everywhere, is why the Intimacy 2.0 dress has it backward.
Imagine this. You walk into a party, dressed to the nines in your new efoil dress, and naturally you feel a bit nervous, a bit excited, so your heart is beating excitedly, and then, just as you always knew it would, your clothing betrays you, turns translucent, and you stand naked in front of a crowd of strangers.
Your heart beats faster with the approach not just of a lover but of an enemy. A heart beats faster with challenge, dread, excitement, and what we need our clothing to do when our heart beats faster is to protect, not reveal.
Imagine you are alone, waiting for your lover to return and wearing your Intimacy 2.0. When you hear the beloved footsteps approach, do you tear off the efoil and leap into waiting arms? No, this is when your dress needs to become as opaque as night, with layers and confining stays, buttons and snaps, covering you from neck to toes. When your heart beats faster, you need your clothing to turn into mysterious chain mail.
The first “wearables,” or internet-enabled smart devices you wear, to hit the market were once just bulky step counters not unlike watches. However, today’s latest wearables are smart-jewelry pieces that help you become more health conscious. Not only do these new wearables look like lovely fashion accessories that women actually love wearing, but they can even help you de-stress at just the right times with advanced features. Check out these two innovative designs:
The Bellabeat Leaf Urban
Versatility is a major highlight for this hi-tech wellness tracker that comes in rose gold and silver. It’s in the shape of an elegant leaf, and ladies can wear it as a pendant on a necklace, clip it on like a classy brooch or wrap it around the wrist as a bracelet with a leather band. This water-resistant wearable came out in July 2016, and it tracks your steps, your sleep, your fertility and menstrual cycles. Plus, the app accompanying it includes meditation programs with breathing exercises, and the wearable tracks your breathing during these sessions to help you relax. Fast Company reported the overall goal of the Leaf Urban is that:
“It contains stress-tracking technology that uses the other data points — your sleep, activity, and point in your menstrual cycle — to predict how stressed you might be. It might then prompt you to take a walk or do some meditation.”
The Solar-Powered Swarovski Shine
For those of you who love water sports and don’t want to worry about recharging your smart jewelry, Swarovski made the solution for you. Inspired by the success of Swarovski’s Activity Crystal band that doubles as a pendant, they’re working on a new solar-powered model that’s self-charging. Swarovski’s CEO Robert Buchbauer said in January 2016 that the solar-powered model could launch in 2017 (so far it didn’t).
If it’s anything like the original Swarovski Activity Crystal, you could expect it to track activities such as running, swimming, yoga and your sleep cycles. Plus, it would sync with your smart phone to become a remote control for wireless devices and has a built-in camera to take selfies.
With health-tracking devices that are this practical to use and fun to wear, more women are eagerly turning to smart jewelry to enhance their self-care routines.