Are you smarter than your clothes?

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This week, we talk high-tech clothing; from biodegradable silky trainers to intelligent gym shorts, the future of smart fashion is NOW! 

Smarty pants for lazy humans: We are getting fitter, upgrading our bodies and also our gymwear. Gym memberships are growing in Europe, with UK gym-goers forecast to grow by 20% by 2020. A new cupboard of ‘smart’ gym clothes is now required to maximise your training results but minimise your effort (we are still lazy humans right?). Mbody’s ‘intelligent shorts’ by Myontec are helping cyclists, runners and duathlonists (like triathlon but without the swimming!) to improve and finding out if their muscles are relaxing correctly or are too tense to maintain an efficient exercise rate. The shorts look great but they can also alert the owner to increased injury risk and if there is poor compensation in leg muscles. Smart shorts come with a sensor recorder, a dedicated  ‘listening’ and display app and a system that monitors your bio-signals. The new luxury is knowing when a cramp is going to come and how to adjust your rhythm to avoid it. Those really are smarty pants!

Money down the drainSneakers are the least biodegradable of shoes, their plastic soles ranking way behind even the ordinary leather trainers of yore. With an eye on Earth-friendly millennials (and a sense of guilt for stuffing our cupboards with non-recyclable shoes), Adidas is bringing biofabric to the upper part of your shoe. It looks like a regular sneaker fabric, but is in fact a biodegradable type of silk called biosteel fiber. Once the shoes are worn out, you just drop them into the kitchen sink and dissolve the biosteel parts using a special enzyme. Next we need a solution for soles, as the current craze for fashion sneakers is filling up landfills.

Speak to me baby: Trust French designers to come up with a sneaker that you can whisper secret instructions to. It has a voice-operated interface that you can ask to tighten the shoe a little, warm your feet by bringing the temperature up or count steps for you. The sneaker has sensors built-in to record walking routes and will nag if you’ve not burnt enough calories. Inspired by moon boots, it is the shoe fit of the 21st century.

Lovely loafers to die for: On the opposite end of the shoe spectrum is Nicolas Kirkwood and his passion for the personalisation of premium high heels and loafer beauties. You can now select pretty much any part of his Beya loafer or Beya mule, pick your colour and give it that trendy rose dust tint, then pick your initials and wait for Nicolas to weave his magic. Made of the finest Italian leather but manufactured in UK, the shoes show that luxury is not just about hyper-sneakers and chasing ‘goals’ but also paying homage to the best craftsmen in the world. Check his beauties out online or, even better, in the flagship on 5 Mount Street in Mayfair.

The oldest question in the universe: Dolly Singh, a former SpaceX exec, has gone from trying to get us all floating above the earth to designing luxury shoes. A team composed of Dolly and ex-astronauts have put their minds to the billion dollar question: how can women be comfortable on high heels? Their new company, Thesis Couture, is using space research materials to ‘disrupt’ the concept of luxury by bringing science and mercy to fashion. Their high heels help women to balance their weight across the entire shoe so ladies aren’t crushing their toes when they walk. We’ve always loved astronauts: now we know why!

Shows shows shows: This week’s show is in Montreal, where shoe fetishists and technologists alike will be drawn to the creations made by Anastasia Radevich. Byelorussia-born but now based in Canada, this fourth generation shoe designer explores 3D-printing and new manufacture techniques to create a heightened version of foot artwork for our feet. Using themes inspired by lost civilisations mixed with Blade Runner-inspired shoe collections and 3D-printed wave forms, her creations are building the foundations for  the future of footwear. Don’t miss it – the exhib can be found at the Montreal Fine Art and Design Museum, and runs till October.