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Viral Style #68: Air Umbrellas, Gesture Rings, And The 3D Printed Grill

Viral Style #68 features smart jewelry, heat-sensitive fashion designs, and will.i.am's new smart cuff.

HIGH FASHION BRAND OF THE WEEK

Tokyo Fashion Week is currently underway, and one Japanese brand worth keeping an eye on is Anrealage (A + REAL + UNREAL + AGE—get it?). Helmed by designer Kunihiko Morinaga, the label specializes in conceptual applications of technology and textiles. Their latest collection for S/S15, Shadow, contains ‘performance piece’ garments, including dresses and jackets made from white heat-sensitive fabrics, overlain with black mesh-like garments that leave delicate patterns when warmed by lamps. Rounding out their collection are intricate crocheted structures and surrealist hairpieces.

3D-PRINTED GRILLZ OF THE WEEK

Artist Roopa Vasudevan recently took center stage at the Dumbo Arts Festival, showcasing an innovative new project called Grillz, which was made using 3D printing technology. Exploring the use of language in mainstream hip-hop, lyrics in individual songs—think "Make It Rain" and "Juicy"—were analyzed using algorithms for references to extreme poverty and extreme wealth, which then formed a unique geometric landscape that could be 3D printed as a wearable grill. Executed in polished gold steel, each finished piece of mouth jewellery works as a representation of contemporary hip-hop culture, symbolising over-the-top wealth.

RAIN-PROOF ACCESSORY OF THE WEEK

As winter approaches, many people get sick due to the simple lack of rain gear (alongside that nasty feeling of having to peel your trousers off after getting caught in a downpour). Umbrellas don’t always help—they easily turn inside-out, and often break entirely. Enter the Air Umbrella, a new Kickstarter project that actually deflects rain away from the user by blasting air to form a protective canopy. Constructed out of a motor, fan blade and rechargeable lithium battery, the size of the barrier can be increased by twisting the handle (if you feel like being nice and covering a friend), and there are three different styles available. Just don’t stand too close to other people at the bus stop—we imagine that redirected rain has to go somewhere.

MORPHING TIMEPIECE OF THE WEEK

Japanese start-up company Fashion Entertainments has revealed details of their debut product, the FES Watch. Inspired by the idea of "creating new ways to enjoy digitized fashion," the accessory was developed to function not just as a timepiece, but as a canvas for different patterns. Utilizing a classic shape, the surface is composed of electronic paper, which can take on 24 different combinations that appear and fade with a morphing effect when touched. Simple yet smart, no? The watch is also available in a range of different monochrome strap styles, including brickwork and stone.

CELEB-ENDORSED SMART ‘CUFF’ OF THE WEEK

Having already broadcast a song from Mars, created a $475 iPhone camera accessory, and more recently designed a car, the inimitable hip-hop star/entrepreneur will.i.am now reveals a new device called Puls. This voice-controlled wristband smartphone—which Will insists is a ‘cuff’ rather than a watch—is a standalone device that can make calls, play videos and music, as well as post to social media sites like Facebok and Instagram. The device comes with 1GB of memory, along with a personal digital assistant named AneedA. You can even get the gadget in a diamond-encrusted design if regular colorways aren't up to par.

SMART JEWELRY OF THE WEEK

The perfect gadget to enhance your day-to-day existince with the lift of a finger, the Logbar Ring is a new piece of wearable tech jewelry that’s able to send texts, control home appliances, and even pay your bills. Worn on the index finger, simple gestures can be carried out while holding the touch sensor, whether you want to change the TV channel or set up wireless money transfers through GPS and ibeacon. With a smooth metal coating in silver or gold, the Logbar ring can also be used to control cloud devices, alerting the user to incoming notifications through vibrating and LED. Want to get your digit in one? Having smashed its goal on Kickstarter earlier this year, the ring is now available for around $269.

…. AND FINALLY

Check it out—the Apple Watch has officially made it in the style game, having graced the front cover of the new issue of Vogue China. Success!

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