Fashion in the age of Technology
Mixing creativity in the fashion industry with innovation of technology is a sure fire way to engineer incredible user experiences. The two industries have been influencing each other to come out with the best creations and innovations that bring excitement to the world of fashion.
Coco Chanel once said “Fashion changes, but style endures.” There is another thing that is changing along with fashion: technology. And with so many new innovations in technology, it comes as no surprise that it is being used in the fashion world too. The fashion and technological industries are very similar in their development. They both need to constantly come up with cutting edge designs to ensure that their customers enjoy their products and buy them.
In the fashion industry, trends are cyclical but each time a trend is repeated, new elements are added to it. Just as in the tech industry, an idea springs to mind and the creators work on it to come up with their final product. The process of creation is the same in both the industries and regular updates and revamps take place in them both. Take for example the mobile phone; we have seen such a major enhancement, from the way it looks to the way it works. It is human nature to want the best, newest and shiniest thing available, which is why fashion designers as well as technology developers are constantly upping their game, trying to outdo their competitors.
So how has technology made an impact on fashion? As it can be seen in any art form, long term trends in fashion are often driven by technological advancement. Whether it is in the manufacturing process or understanding what your customers want, technology plays an important role. Technological advancements have made everything easier. In the past a fashion show would only be witnessed by the crème de la crème of the fashion industry, but now everyone can watch it from the comfort of their living room couch.
Tenzin Tseten Bhutia, one of Nepal’s leading fashion designers says, “Earlier, to understand a trend we had to either travel to the place or wait till the fashion show was aired on TV. However, these days it is all easily accessible on the internet. Not just in understanding trends but also while taking inspiration from a fashion designer of another country.” He also talks about how designers in Nepal are able to expand their customer base through social media which earlier was just limited to the people in Nepal. This shows the advancement and increase in reach that technology has brought into the fashion industry. Clothes that once only the rich could afford are now available to everyone because of technological advancements that have led to a reduction in production costs.Technology also helps to change the fabric, the color and the designs. Designers are able to understand what the customers want and how they want it, so it is easier to incorporate their needs in the designs. Bini Bajracharya, Head of Design and Production at SABAH Nepal, says, “Dhaka which was earlier not worn by everyone has become very popular these days because of modern designs that are being used in the fabric. This has led to an increase in customer interest in Dhaka items.”
Shailaja Adhikary, Managing Director of IEC College of Art and Fashion, informs, “There are many courses being offered which show the integration of the two. With technology having such a big influence in our lives, this influence shows in the works of fashion designers as well. For the year 2016, the theme for the Met Gala was Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology. The theme was a juxtaposition of handmade couture items featuring embroidery, pleating and lacework techniques along with machine made designs showcasing new technologies like laser cutting, thermo shaping and circular knitting. The aim of the show was to reveal how fashion and technology are inextricably connected, more so now than ever before. And so it can be said that the two are now evolving together and relying on each other in many ways to gain popularity.