Thursday, March 17, 2016

Math and Art Equals Fashion

It could be said that getting to the top within the fashion industry is not an easy task.  The question is how we can get to the top. Unfortunately, there are multiple answers to this question. Fashion is an industry where art and math are put together. You need to know your client, his/her expectations, wants, and budget while you create an artistic excitement.

Fashion requires visual perspicacity, visual discrimination, and an overall sense of the numbers. These factors are really important when making new prepositions in this industry. Most of the times humans tend to expand to their most comfortable side of the brain. Generally, it is been said that when you are good at math you are not good at art and the other way around. Fashion requires both, and perhaps this is where the fashion industry portraits its most challenging features. Indeed, the mathematical part of this business is not for everyone because requires a great deal of detail, and a tremendous sense of organization. Being creative is not easy either. I have to say that even when is underestimated, this part of the business is as difficult as the mathematical component. Being creative requires a tremendous ability to filtrate what is seen around while making this visual information into garments that are able to communicate to customers who have to assimilate the new creation. Even better these customers when exposed to the result have to decide if they want to buy them or not.

Now the question is if there is a methodology to teach and learn how to combine the creative aspect of fashion, while being aware of the ultimate goal of being accepted by customers. Unfortunately, eye and sensibility are not easy to learn neither to teach, and even when you have both, you need to add the monetary factor, the logistics and many multiple administrative activities that most of the fashion creatives don't even want to touch and even worse don't want to learn.

The Editor in chief from Teen Vogue, Amy Astley, says in an article published by Forbes in 2014, when referring to the professionals that she would like to hire: I look for people who read books, newspaper, who are aware of what is going on in the world, who are smart, who go to museums and exhibits, and who know about artists. I agree with her, but I will add that fashion also requires an understanding of the how this complex business operates: the short and fast cycles that this industry is submitted continuously,  the brutal monetary competition, and the complexity of the logistics involved since this industry became global among many other factors.

If you are thinking on getting into this industry, you better get prepared to expand and stretch your perspectives to the unlimited world of art and science, where multiple pieces are required to put together seamlessly to be successful.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lessons to learn when teaching to be creative

I have been teaching for a while Technology in Fashion at Philadelphia University. You may think this is a very dry subject, full of machinery and computers. Fortunately, my class has become a lab where I have my students using their creativity. The very first semester, I was very much trying to show my students the advancements in terms of machinery, software applications, wearable technology and 3D printing. Tons of theory. The class went well, but I thought I was missing something.

I was always on the creative side. When I went to school for Textiles, I always wanted to come up with these projects where people could react in different ways. I made a woven cape of animal intestines, a shoe of ivy and flowers made with woven tapestry techniques, that I named Nike Primavera (Spring Nike), a window crocheted with wild Ives, and a fabrication for rivers Knitted with grass, among many more projects. Unfortunately, my creativity and curiosity stopped when I confronted the real world and I had to go to work and made a life of my diploma.

After my first semester teaching Technology in Fashion at Philadelphia University was over, I felt I had the opportunity to retake my creativity and  ideas and projects came to my head, like those old times when I was a student. The result has been wonderful. I have an unstoppable tool called technology to my service this time. I love to see how I am introducing my students to use technology not only to complement the actual business practices, but to use it as a tool where there are no limits. Technology is here for them to be used, not in the traditional ways of standardization, speed to market, etc. but to explore new fields and come with ways to do things that no one has sought before.

Friday, March 7, 2014

3D Printed is Grasping Fashion very Quickly

3D printing is moving fast into the Fashion world, but not only in terms of accessories. As of today, garments are coming along with very interesting outcomes from "Iris Van Herpen's continuos array of awe inspiring fashion collections."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Technology and Fashion are Connecting

Wearable Technology battles constantly with esthetics.  I hear and read a lot of the same "For the fashion-conscious, wearable gadgets are currently not wearable". How we can make wearable technology pieces more than unbelievable tech garments and turn them into beautiful and fashionable. There is no doubt that fashion is esthetics and functionality. Cloth is designed to be desired and to be worn, not to be admired for its capabilities. Cloth is a powerful channel of communication. It can tell who you are in multiple ways. Now, the question is: Do you want to be a Robot? If you are “Fashion sensible” the answer is pretty easy: NO!!
Things are changing. After years and years where Fashion and Technology considered each other opposites, today it can be said that they are taking each other more seriously. The creators of wearable technology are quickly learning the importance of being appealing and the fashion world is learning the language of technology. There isn’t a surprise giant tech. companies are hiring fashion designers. Among the ones that have already got in contact with fashion designers and are including them into their latest Tech products are Google, Apple, and Samsung.

These are great examples of exposing wires with a pretty sense of Fashion from Mika Satomi and Kobakant during a workshop.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wearable Technology Revolutionary or Evolutionary

Intangible or tangible, technology has been rapidly impacting societies and the way people do nearly everything, “From consuming media to performing research to maintaining relationships to communicating,”[1] Similarly, technology has changed the way businesses of all sizes operate. Technology has brought throughout the years an impressive improvement of efficiency in several areas such as product information, essential business processes, data tracking and analysis, cost, quality, and standardization among other business matters.[2] The question is when is Technology revolutionary and when is evolutionary? 

Technology development depends immensely on money, however it’s application does not. Its perception of value depends on time and place, and the degree of change from the previous state and the new state of the tangible or intangible subject. “Changes can be evolutionary but not revolutionary in terms of technology.”[1] Not every technology will make a difference. When a technology starts changing the way people live and work, transforming the social landscape, and global economy, its when is considered revolutionary. These changes can happen in different scales and can have different meanings in different places. Developed countries may easily and rapidly develop technology, but it can take years for other countries, just to adapt it. While developed countries are experiencing incremental changes to existing technologies, in developing and undeveloped countries only a privileged sector is just starting to adapt technologies.  

Smart phones are a good example of this matter. Acording to John Villasenor[2], in an article published by Forbes, smart phones won’t be having dramatic changes soon, but they will have an amazing impact on developing countries where people will be able to move from the basic phones to smart phones. Indeed, for the people of developing countries, smart phones are not only offering mobility to the users[3], but they are supplying a lot of the functions that other devices such as personal computers and tablets provide to users in developed countries: Open ended possibilities of digital information.  The question is......It is wearable technology revolutionary? or it is just the next step? 

Is Google Glass a revolutionary or an evolutionary technology?
For a lot of “technology savvy” this could be the next big thing after the i-pad. You start your interaction with these cool glasses with a simple "Okay Glass" command, and then   they will do amazing things for you: “Search the web, take photos with a 5 MP camera, watch and record videos (720p video), send messages and even conduct searches” The possibilities for this device are endless and it would let us live our life in a way that was only in the cool-tech movies.

[3] Within development countries the use of smart phones is giving the opportunity to move their information around. Most of the people these countries have the possibility to access to personal computers or tablets. 

[1] Pash, Adam. “How to Move Your Business to Cloud-Computing, Make your workflow easier and more efficient with web-based computing.” From PC-World, 07 May. 2010, 15 November, 2010

[2] They help to avoid costly and time-consuming redesigns after components and sourcing.

Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology

The improvement in terms of machinery in combination with an impressive developing on chemistry and structure of the fibers is also bringing the applications of technology into another level. Smart textiles and E-textiles are becoming tremendously popular within the fashion industry especially in the sports and medical fields. Smart and e textiles are nowadays one of the most explored technology developments within the fashion industry and there is no doubt that in most of the cases they are the result of an active collaboration among several technological fields. Capable of performing multiple functions seamless and presenting an unbelievable spectrum of uses that can range from sensing and reacting to changes in the environment, these textiles are no where, but heading to the future of Wearable Technology.