Pratt’s 'Coded Couture' exhibit takes fashion-tech beyond wearables

February 12, 2016

The fashion industry has always been at the forefront of innovation, pushing the envelope when it comes to design, collaboration and trends. In that sense, the marriage between technology and fashion is inevitable, as the tech industry is currently leading the charge when it comes to invention.

Just in time for New York Fashion Week, The Pratt Institute is celebrating the alliance between fashion and technology with its latest exhibit, “Coded_Couture,” which opened to the public last night. The exhibition experiments with fashion dictated by code, showcasing how designers are increasingly incorporating interactive applications into their works.  

As an amalgamation of timeless garments and cutting edge technology, the exhibit provides a glimpse into the wearables of the future, thinking past the technology that Fitbits and Apple watches have brought to the masses. Rooted in coding, the exhibit displays a new iteration of fashion, where the idea of customization extended beyond one’s physical measurements and into their psyche.

For example, designer Ying Gao coded her [No] Where/ [Now] Here piece with eye tracking technology that allows elements of the garments to physically respond to a spectator’s gaze. These works, which appear as fashion-forward white dresses, actually notify the wearer she is being watched.

Other highlights from the exhibit included Rebecca Pailes-Friedmans BioWear and Melissa Coleman’s, Leonie Smelt’s and Joachim Rottevell’s, Holy Dress.

BioWear literally ruffled feathers with its plumed bodice equipped with a heart rate monitor, which makes the piece move in conjunction with a wearer’s heartbeat.

Holy Dress is essentially a wearable morality display. The design utilizes a commercial lie detector and LED lights to transform a simple black dress into a sculptural work that lights up and delivers a shock when the wearer lies. The piece responds to a speech recognition system that analyzes voice stress levels as an indicator of untruthfulness.

This exhibit was curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox and features 10 international designers in total. The show will run through April 30.

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