PASSION FOR FASHION (AND BEER)

 

Fashion designers automated out by Watson IBMThe MayDay Met Ball in NYC is the highlight of the fashion season. Marchesa designed a dress for supermodel Karolina Kurkova which not only interacted with audience emotions by using 150 LED lights and Twitter reactions, but was also to a significant degree designed by an IBM machine called Watson. The ‘cognitive dress’ creation featured white roses that acted as light sources, reflecting the tone of Twitter chatter around the model wearing the machine-designed dress. The Watson computer picked the shape, colour and texture for the beautiful dress using AI, with its dataset learning being based on the brand’s archive images. Designers, your time is up.

Oh what a tangled web we weave: What material is 10 times stronger than steel yet feels natural and soft on your skin? Bolt Threads have found an answer – a fabric created by spiders, strong but elastic and stretch-resistant so that your yoga pants won’t lose shape. £40m funding later, the founders are cracking on with creating a material that will be better than polyester yet, unlike it, will not feel ‘plastic-like’ and will not be going to the landfill, as natural fabrics recycle well. Can’t wait.

Daisy Lowe Un-wired: Not to be outdone by computers in the fashion innovation department, the old but innovative lingerie brand Triumph is bringing out a non-wired but super strong support bra. Developed by a human designer (no Watson for Triumph!) for the Daisy Lowe collection utilising the new Magic Boost bra technology, this piece takes the late, great Zaha Hadid’s alternative approach to construction for what is essentially a seductive but highly functional architectural piece for the body. Less is more and we always thought that wired lingerie should be an oxymoron. Give it a try.

The beer bubble dress has landed: Pushing the frontiers of edible (or rather drinkable) fashion, our favourite Aussie designer, Donna Franklin from Nanollose, has created a beautiful dress made of our preferred tipple: beer! Natural bacteria has been let loose on the drink components and left to its own devices, slowly but surely converting the beer into a natural fibre. The whole process is eco-friendly, scalable and can be grown into any shape, opening a whole world of new fashion shapes available to creative designers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Watson!

The need for speed: Not forgetting that millennials are all about instant gratification, Shopify is bringing a new instant delivery service to customers in urban areas. About 10% of the Shopify webshop orders in the US are placed by local customers; those buyers can now get a low-cost instant delivery option, as Postmates is integrating its courier service into Shopify. Postmates, better known for zooming to your office with your sumptuous lunchtime sushi order, is expanding beyond food delivery to leverage their network in various US cities. Keeping their couriers busy not just in meal-peak-time slots is the key to their commercial success. Smart move – London next?