Archive for April, 2014

Material World: Sudsies Lays Out The Fabrics of the Future, Part IV

Reinvention Sometimes the greatest things are right under our noses… or in our case, hidden in the back of our closets. As the final part of our “Material World” series, we get a little nostalgic by highlighting materials of our past reinvented in new ways.

The most surprising comeback is neoprene, otherwise known as latex. Once reserved for Catwoman (or the S&M costume), latex has made a comeback in a chic way. Maison Martin Margiela gave the material an ease factor with latex jeans and slouchy t-shirts and fashion darlings Proenza Schouler sent latex bow ankle-strapped heels down the runway. Just last month, Calvin Klein released an exclusive graphic sky print tee in collaboration with SSENSE. Perhaps the most memorable use of this traditionally industrial materials was Balenciaga’s 2012 Autumn/Winter collection, featuring unexpected silhouettes of blazers, trench coats, tailored pants, and dresses. Among 2014 Spring/Summer trends according to fashion bible Vogue is tribal influences. Design mammoths Valentino, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Céline, Hermès and Emilio Pucci all referenced traditional design techniques from across the globe with intricately embroidered coats, graphic prints, and ponchos and fringe detailing. Finally, London’s Insley and Nash honors the age-old art of textile print screening and dyeing, specifically, techniques that cannot be produced by digital methods such as devoré, foil printing, fluorescent, and metallic inks. The duo has worked with an array of designers for runway presentations, as well as costume designs. Their collaboration with JW Anderson used special techniques to create a three-dimensional texture effect. While all this technology stuff is neat, Insley and Nash’s creations remind us of the specialty and beauty of hand craftsmanship. This closes out our Material World series. Heard of any other neat fashion innovations? Share with us on our Facebook page. Remember to go back and check out Part I, Part II, and Part III of this great series! Thanks for reading!.

Material World: Sudsies Lays Out The Fabrics of the Future, Part III

Sustainable Trends
Companies across all industries continue to be scrutinized for their environmental practices, and the business of fashion is no different. Many fabrics claim to be “green” and labels tout sustainable practices – vegan leathers, organic fabrics, local manufacturing, recycled or repurposed materials, fair trade, etc.  All sounds great, but if this cause is close to heart, we recommend doing a little research to get the full picture behind each claim. A great resource we found is, which allows you to search labels and retailers from around the world through variety of categories.

In our own research, we came across designer Carole Collett, who is elevating eco-friendly fabrics to eco-MADE. She uses her background in science and textile manufacturing to create textiles from “living technology.” Her Bio-Lace work projects what designs plants would create if they were engineered to grow textiles. The resulting images showcase beautifully intricate lace-like patterns from the plants’ roots. It’s a concept we hope to see much more of in the future.

Happy Earth Day!

Next week we’ll go back to the future…


Don’t forget to read Part I and Part II of this series..

Material World: Sudsies Lays Out The Fabrics of the Future, Part II

Fabrics From Another Dimension
First created in 1984, 3D printers focused on applications in architecture, automotive, and the medical industry. Yet, the fashion world has more recently latched onto the technology to aid in advant-garde visions, as well as commerce.

To date, 3D printing technology in fashion has usually been reserved larger companies. The technique gained broad attention when Victoria Secret models strutted in 3D printed wings during its annual fashion show and some designers have experimented with jewelry. Now, clothing is slowly entering the arena. Traditionally, designers have to rely on manufactures to produce their garments and cost usually justifies orders in bulk, thereby the creation of numerous garments of the same or similar styles. 3D printing allows these designers to bypass the manufacturer all together by printing their creation in a production of one, meaning the garment is truly one-of-a-kind.

In the meantime, a couple of start-up fashion companies are using 3D printing to offer custom garments to its clientele. San Francisco’s Continuum is preparing the launch their next 3D printed shoe collection, but their website also allows for customers to custom-create their own bikinis from the technology. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Founder Mary Huang explains that the garments are printed via a plastic derived from nylon, so the texture is not far from traditional fabric.

Electroloom developed a 3D printer specifically for creating customized apparel. Thus far, they have succeed in producing tubes of polymer fabric, but hope to evolve into being able to create fashion basics likes t-shirts and sweaters, as well as textiles that resemble the comfort of cotton.

Here’s even more good news…. Costs are coming down as 3D technology gets more refined, meaning it will soon become much more accessible. Perhaps at-home printers could even become available soon!

Want more? Here’s a hint for our upcoming blog for the Materials World series — Forget rumors of fashion’s snootiness, these next featured designers are down to earth.

Missed Part I of this series? Check it out here..

Material World: Sudsies Lays Out The Fabrics of the Future, Part I

The fashion world is always surprising us with new looks. All cutting, draping and sewing aside, thanks to today’s innovations, the fabric of the garment is what makes some of these garments so fascinating.  As “materialistic” ones ourselves, we compiled our favorite emerging textile trends.

Techie Textiles
Technology is usually an adjective associated with smart phones, computers, and other nifty gadgets, but there are also several advanced fabrics that add function to the fashion.

British designer Hotsquash offers fall/winter and spring/summer collections incorporating ThinHeat™ and CoolFresh™ fabrics, respectively. Inspired by polar bears, the ThinHeat™ technology emulates the hairs of the Artic animal’s fur with engineered hollow-core fibers that trap air for greater insulation. They claim this technology will keep you twice as warm as cotton or wool without the bulk.

Alternatively, CoolFresh™ uses lightweight fabrics made from a combination of multi-channel and hollow fibers that respond to your body’s temperature to keep you cool without the chill, even when the temperature changes. The fabric has also been shown to wick away moisture faster than other breathable fabrics.

This doesn’t mean you’re limited to thermal underwear or teeshirts… Both collections offer an array of garments and styles – shirts, dresses, pants, cardigans, and more – and have received praise from fashion writers for their stylish appeal. Furthermore, care is simple via regular wash and clothing requires little ironing. How cool (or hot) is that?!

We were also intrigued by Designer Nancy Tilbury (also UK-based), who specializes in fashion hybrids of design and science. Her influence is seen in collaboration with Levi’s Nike and Orange, but we were really blown away with her Spike Jacket with sensor detectors that cause the garment to flash when someone comes to close. We foresee this innovation being a great safety tool.

That’s enough tech talk for now. We look forward to sharing more fabrics of the future with you next week!.