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[Best of 2014] The Year in Fashion and Tech

2014 was the year of the wearable (and much more).

air, THE UNSEEN. Image via

2014 was the year of the wearable: we saw tech-laced smart garments that could grant us superhuman abilities, keep us healthy, reveal our deepest emotions, make us better communicators, and revolutionize our bodies. At the same time, these clothes and accessories left the gadget arena and became fashionable items that could reflect a wearer's personal taste. We witnessed fashion designers like Anouk Wipprecht and Studio XO continuously push the boundaries of their medium by incorporating innovative techniques such as 3D-printing, magnets, and even open-sourcing into their designs. And MoMA's acquisition of a 3D-printed dress this month summed it up––the realms of fashion, technology, and art are fusing in a most inspiring (and legitimate) way.

This is the year in fashion: 

+ THE UNSEEN created a crystal headpiece that changes color with brainwaves and a wind-reactive chameleon-like fabric

+ We were introduced to scarves dyed with bacteria, and also ones printed with Mars terrain and satellite photos

Image by Meredith Truax, courtesy of of Slow Factory

+ Anouk Wipprecht designed the world's first open-source, 3D-printed dress and a dress that can withstand 500,000 volts.

+ We launched mini selfie-taking drones from our wrists and charged our phones with solar-powered fashion.

+ iWinks helped us hack our dreams

+ We hid our devices from Big Brother with a pocket made of stealth technology and caught assailants in the act with a camera-studded jacket.

+ Subpac, a pad and backpack that transfers low frequencies into physical vibrations, helped us feel sound

Subpac visualization

Hoodies texted for us and shirts with haptic sensors helped us navigate our way.

+ With BLOCKS, a unique smartwatch, we could wear a modular open hardware and software platform on our wrists. 

+ We spoke with Studio XO about their futuristic fashion creations including a mesmerizing bubble dress, a Jeff Koons-inspired design called the Parametric Sculpture Dress, a piece with animated black mirrors, and a garment that literally takes flight.

+ Skiing could get a whole lot safer and smarter with biometric tech made specially for winter sports.

+ In February, Rodarte turned geek into chic with his Star Wars-themed dresses.

Rodarte, SS2015

+ The prototype for BabyGuard imagined a future where parents could monitor their infants by tracking realtime data through sensor units embedded in their clothing.

+ In December, MoMa acquired the first 3D-printed dress made from a singular piece of 2,279 triangular panels and 3,316 hinges. 

Kinematics Dress by Nervous System

+ We experienced the field from an athlete’s perspective with a camera-embedded jersey.

+ Joel Gibbard invented an affordable robotic hand that costs under $1000. 

+ Neri Oxman designed trippy space suits that could be grown from bacteria while Iris Van Herpen manipulated magnetic materials for her CERN-inspired Spring 2015 collection.

Wanderers, Neri Oxman. Image via, GIF by Beckett Mufson

+ In September, hologram models strutted the catwalk at Ralph Lauren’s Polo Presentation in New York.

+ Androgynous bodies morphed and mutated in Arca and Jess Kanda’s video collaboration with clothing line SSENSE.

+ 3D-printed “virtual creature” necklaces, modern mood rings and germ-filtering scarves were all the rage.

Reverberating Across the Divide, MadLab.

+ We scoped out "website dresses” at an augmented reality fashion show inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and saw glitch textiles take over Tokyo Kaihouku's Design Showcase in June

ProGlove, a sensor-based "smart glove," innovated on the manufacturing process.

+ A team of materials scientists from MIT invented a personal heating and cooling bracelet that delivers rapid temperature change to our skin.  

Wristify, a Make it Wearable finalist.

This is part seven of our end-of-the-year series. Stay tuned as we continue to look back on 2014 and collect all of our favorite examples of modern creativity, fantastic innovations, and important trends.

Related:

[Best of 2014] The Year in Animation

[Best of 2014] The Year in Art Discoveries

[Best of 2014] The Year in Sound

[Best of 2014] The Year in Brains

[Best of 2014] The Year in Sculpture

[Best of 2014] The Year in Robots