MakeFashion 2014: Inputs and Outcomes

Posted By Yana

Mar 11th 2014

So what happens when Solarbotics meets up with a local fashion duo just 4 weeks before a techno fashion show? Some insanity. Some long hours. Lots of fun. Solarbotics helped several designers prepare for the MakeFashion Gala 2014, but there were a few we really worked closely on for the event. Pumping Fashion Lit by Dee Fontans, Eric Willis and Maya Lewandowsky deserves a separate post because we spent many hours on construction and fine-tuning of this costume, and know it inside out. Maya Lewandowsky, the artistic director with La Caravan Dance Theatre, did an amazing  job performing the piece at the event and attracted crowds of viewers and photographers after. The tech bits used included, among others, Arduino Pro Mini microcontrollers (8MHz, 16MHz) and 5V RGB LED Stripxels. And yes, many bicycles were sacrificed in the construction of this piece. Blinklifier’ was created by Tricia Flanagan and Katia Vega at the Haptic InterFace workshop, Academy of Visual Arts, Hong Kong Baptist University. Tricia showed up to our offices the day before the event with this piece needing some attention. Due to a major technical failure, it was totally inoperative, and we invited her to our offices for the day to get it up and running for the show. What isn't immediately apparent from the photos is the underlighting on the hem, which is connected to an ambient light sensor on the model's right shoulder. We added some tuning hardware and code tweaks for easier "at-event" dialing in of sensor behavior. Designed and constructed by Kyle Nylund, blown glass by Shawn Ayerst, and brought to light by Tony Grimes "Bloom" is a mixed media wearable sculpture that combines glass, fabric, fiberoptics, wire and LED light. Solarbotics assisted & provided Tony hardware options for lighting up this piece. Together, we discovered some interesting lighting techniques for fiber-optic cloth. Cool stuff.   The Widow, an articulating robotic spider with proximity sensors by Shannon Chappell, Kayna Hardman, Kevin Loney and David Bynoe (video by Paul Spenard). Solarbotics assisted a bit during the initial layout of the dress. This project by Jiyi Rhee & Janet Mader is a wearable technology piece that combines recent advances in digital projection technology with the Korean Hanbok. Their design focuses on organic integration between traditional motifs and contemporary technological elements. Solarbotics provided our laser-cutting talents in cutting the transparent flower ornaments. We also had an evening with Kathryn Blair, and worked with her testing methods to make her origami piece move. That's an interesting piece of work on her shoulders. Team Solarbotics was shining not only in the tech aspects but also quite literally. Funny how the guy in the hat pushed the most electrons, but didn't get around to blinging out his own gear. Harumph. Videos of the Gala by Paul Spenard: Make Fashion 2014 - Behind the scenes Make Fashion Gala 2014