Fashion & Technology

 It’s been a long time, my dear readers.  For that,  I apologize.  I’ve been in Boston for the last year, caring for my dear Mother, Gloria, who is 93, and suffering from dementia.  It’s been a hard road, but I learn a little every day to make her life a little easier and mine too.  I have very little freedom yet, but we are working on that as well.  I did manage last week to go to my beloved Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to view this wonderful exhibit. I hope you enjoy the article.  Hopefully, more to come…. thank you for all your support.

FASHION & TECHNOLOGY

I’ve been to more than a few fashion shows, but, my goodness, can you imagine a dress that can charge your phone, or one that reacts visibly to your voice!  Or how about a tuxedo that has little LED lights sewn into it?   How’s that for an entrance into a dark club or restaurant?  I love it!  The days of a dress simply being made on a sewing machine are gone!

“I often wonder if we will keep on wearing fabrics in the future or if dressing will become something non-material, something that is visible, but not tangible or touchable.”  – Iris van Herpen

The exhibit currently on at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston makes that ominous prediction more plausible, if not tangible, or should I say… intangible.  What would Elias Howe think whose first sewing machine was patented right here in Boston in 1851?

The exhibit is divided into three sections, the first being “Performance” which presents fashion that interacts with its wearer in conceptual ways.  A second room explores work by well-known designers who have been working at the intersection of fashion and technologies for a decade or more, like Issey Miyake or Rei Kawakubo.  The third gallery, “Production,”   explores the ways designers, often in collaboration with scientists and engineers, harness new technologies to re-invent how clothing is created.

Besides the sewing machine, fashion and technology have always been linked including the inventions of synthetic dyes in the 19th century and manmade fibers like Nylon in the 20th.  With a centrifugal force geometrically speeding up with every season and every collection, emerging technologies are steering fashion’s course and will define its future.  In the last few years, computer-aided design, 3D printing, electronics, LEDs, biotechnology, and even social media have revolutionized the way garments are designed, made and worn.  According to the MFA’s description of the exhibit, “#techstyle highlights that revolution, presenting work by established designers and young pioneers who have been pushing fashion’s boundaries and challenging conventional ideas about how we make and interact with our clothing.”

I spoke with Lauren Whitley, co-curator of the exhibit, who told me that the exhibit was designed for the MFA  exclusively and has no plans to travel anywhere else after it closes here on July 10th.  “Since Boston is is known as such a hi-tech hub, and so much of technology has been developed and discovered here, with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) leading the way, that it only made sense to have the show here,” Ms. Whitley explained.

For example, as part of Issey Miyake’s 2012 collection, a group of geometric shapes unfold to form part of an ensemble: the rectangle, a bolero-  the square, a dress.  All of the garments which were developed as part of the designer’s Reality Lab, established in 2007, are made of recycled polyester fiber (PET) in consultation with Tenjin Ltd. That company’s Eco Circle system breaks down polyester fiber to the molecular level and repurposes it into usable cloth as good as the original.  The process reduces energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

I loved Ying Gao’s kinetic garment that reacts to its environment, namely a nearby voice.  Electronic sensors activate the dressmaker pins covering the surface, causing them to move and undulate in waves. “The surprising, prickling motion points to Gao’s interest in expressing ideas about the modern experience through a use of technology.  Here the spectator, as well as the wearer, engages in a curious conversation, ‘filled with misunderstanding and uncertainty.’”

I was very fortunate to see this garment in action, as it was only “turned on” from 1-2 on Wednesday afternoon and 6-7 in the evening.  So keep that in mind if you are able to visit this amazing interactive fashionista in her prickly glory.  According to Gao, “We are individuals of the here-and-now, pressured by a logic of urgency and worried about the future.”  If you didn’t know your date’s dress was voice-activated, you might get real urgent about your future in a hurry!

I was most blown away by the creation titled, Solar Dress, by Dutch born designer Pauline Van Dongen.  In 2014, she collaborated with Christiaan Holland and solar energy expert Gert Jan Jongerden to create clothing that utilized solar cells.  After two hours in the sun, the dress can charge a phone’s battery.  The design of the dress incorporates seventy-two cells, which can be hidden behind folding panels when not in use.  Pack this dress, and never worry about not having your phone charger ever again!

When I mentioned to Ms. Whitley that there was a predominance of Japanese designers being featured, she said that the Japanese “have been in the forefront of the textile industry,” but that there are  British and Dutch designs represented, as well as a 3D printed dress from a Somerville (MA) designer in the exhibit.  The fashion industry is changing rapidly,  literally interacting more directly with its consumers.  Ms. Whitley summed up the #techstyle exhibit, “It’s what’s happening now.”

One more thing…. I lust after the laser cut silver leather dress by London-based designer Giles Deacon.  A Swarovski crystal-encrusted dress with the appearance of hard metal, like a sheet of aluminum foil, it is actually soft leather coated with silver pigment and laser-cut to form an intricate lace underskirt and collar with trailing fringe.  It’s like Barbarella meets Beyonce.  It’s liquid beauty.

The exhibit runs through July 10th.  If you love fashion, and/or technology, make sure you get there before it leaves the city that gave birth to freedom and pre-fab fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Aspen Buddy Bash – Rebel With a Cause!

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Winner of the Lemonade stand competition, Stella Firmin, and yours truly in our 1950’s style poofy skirts.

with Tony Bell

with Tony Bell

Stella and Lexi in their poodle skirts.

Stella and Lexi in their poodle skirts.

With my wonderful Burberry customers and friends, Shirley and Farzin Lalezari.

With my wonderful Burberry customers and friends, Shirley and Farzin Lalezari.

Another wonderful Burberry client, Elaine Rosenberg.

Another wonderful Burberry client, Elaine Rosenberg.

Nicole Giantonio, one of my favorite clients, too.

Nicole Giantonio, one of my favorite clients, too.

with Janet Roberts and Deborah Daine, designers of the Buddy Program flag project.

with Janet Roberts and Deborah Daine, designers of the Buddy Program flag project.

Fun photo by Tony Bell.

Fun photo by Tony Bell.

Kari Wells modeling Dennis Basso sable/mink stole for auction looked on by party host, Lenny 'Boogie' Weinglass.

Kari Wells modeling Dennis Basso sable/mink stole for auction looked on by party host, Lenny ‘Boogie’ Weinglass.

Victoria

Victoria

Elena

Elena

It was so good to see the fabled Buddy Bash return to its roots at Boogie Weinglass’ beautiful mountain-top Merry-Go-Round ranch.  Boogie was one of the founding members of the Buddy Program in 1973, and has been hosting the summer event since 2000.  The party had some location changes in the past few years, so it was a happy re-union to see the white billowing tents dotting his property on McLain Flats once again for an evening of celebration for the Buddy Program.  The full article appears in the weekend Time Out section attached.          http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/167516

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WINE, WOMEN & SHOES!

Kristi Gilliam

Kristi Gilliam

Holiday Schaldach

Holiday Schaldach

Giselle Leal  owner of Magasin boutique in Aspen

Giselle Leal
owner of Magasin boutique in Aspen

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Renea Menzies - Aspen artist

Renea Menzies – Aspen artist

Nancy Lord and Kir Boedecker

Nancy Lord and Kir Boedecker

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Diane O'Connell - Aspen

Diane O’Connell – Aspen

Alex Wein with her Mom Leslie Robinson from Houston

Alex Wein with her Mom Leslie Robinson from Houston

Furrier Mark Richards styling a fur scarf on Alex Wein

Furrier Mark Richards styling a fur scarf on Alex Wein

Aspenite Gail Stanger

Aspenite Gail Stanger

Candace Girgis

Candace Girgis

Amanda Barajas and local art dealer Damian Guillot

Amanda Barajas and local art dealer Damian Guillot

Jody Zarosi

Jody Zarosi

Laura Calabrese,  (center)organizer, with her team

Laura Calabrese, (center)organizer, with her team

There were two amazing events on the same day in July – not a big surprise during our Aspen summers, but ones I was fortunate to attend, not only for the great fashion and style, but for the wonderful causes they benefitted.   Besides the Buddy Bash (article published in last week’s Aspen Daily News),  I attended an elegant afternoon event at the gondola, raising money for the Shining Stars Foundation which assists children fighting cancer.  Make sure to put the date in your calendar for next summer when you hear about it.  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/167584

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Food, Wine…. and Fashion!

Last weekend was the official kick-off of summer in Aspen with the annual Food & Wine three day orgy of gastronomy and oenophilia.  Love of fashion was also in evidence as the ladies and gentlemen pulled out their pretty colors and styles that we in Aspen can only don for a few precious warm weeks.  Let’s dress up!  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/167246

Toni Case and Mark Oldman

Megan Clark

Cynthia Cavallaro wearing BCBG

Toni O’Neil Case with Dr. Tony and Joanne Truchard

Colleague from Burberry and volunteer for Food and Wine Andrea Sabba Sirko and yours truly

Amber Salway from Atlanta in an Alice & Olivia dress

Megan and Kendrick Lane celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary back in Aspen. Megan hired me to write for Aspen Daily News.

Greeters at Terlato Wines party at Monarch Building

Hayley Soderlund from San Francisco wearing a pretty orange frock from Anthropology and an island rum libation!

John Anthony and Michele Truchard from Napa, CA. She’s in BCBG and he’s in Lulu Lemon and Robert Graham shorts.

Yours truly in Ralph Lauren and aqua Lexus… a stylish outfit to me!

Mark Oldman in ‘the jacket’ with his very personal insignia

“Marie Antoinette” running away at Terlato wines rooftop party. Not fast enough, Marie!

Kate and Claire with Gold Leaf Events – planners of Terlato Wine Party.

Terlato Wine Party

Mark Oldman at one of his seminars

Food & Wine 2015 – Aspen perfect!

  

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In Memory of Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

MEH and daughter, Jess Bates.

MEH and daughter, Jess Bates.

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Mary Eshbaugh Hayes

Mary and me

Mary and me

Presentation to Mary at her tribute at the now defunct Syzygy restaurant

Presentation to Mary at her tribute at the now defunct Syzygy restaurant

MEH with Nancy Mayer, publisher of Aspen Sojourner magazine

MEH with Nancy Mayer, publisher of Aspen Sojourner magazine

It’s been a joy for the last nine years to go to events where Mary Eshbaugh Hayes, esteemed social columnist for our competitor, The Aspen Times, was covering them too.  I don’t think she ever knew how honored I was to be in the same room as her, shooting the same guests at some of the most coveted events that Aspen hosts every year.  Now that we’ve lost her, I needed to share how influential she was in my life and career.  See my article in the weekend Time Out section of the The Aspen Daily News.  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/166248

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AN INTERVIEW WITH DONNA KARAN IN HER URBAN ZEN SPACE

IMG_1626IMG_1625IMG_1608IMG_1621IMG_1607When I went to visit Ms. Karan this week at her pop-up Urban Zen shop, located in the Residences at the Little Nell space, it was with a lot of awe and admiration.  Read why and all about this very unique and special place in my interview with this American icon.  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/166074

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An Ode to Shaun White

I may have attended my last press conference for the Winter X Games last month when it took place for the 13th consecutive year in Aspen.  I’ve been attending this sporting ritual for the majority of these years, always excited about talking withthe athlets about their clothing sponsors and, of course, what they’d be wearing for their soaring and catapulting flights down the manicured courses.  That’s what a fashion writer does.  http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/entertainment/165720

Shaun at 2011 press conference

Shaun at 2011 press conference

Shaun answering at press conference

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