High fashion couture also needs to be shaken out of its traditional mould once in a while. The young designers do try to do it through their startling experimental works but it doesn’t always work. But what London based fashion designer Amy Winters has done can be described as fantastically weird and yet very appealing and attractive. Whether it is good or bad will be decided by the consumers. The autumn/ winter 2011 collection by Amy Winters is a unique experiment. There is high fashion couture, there is innovative technology and there is art in it. In fact it is a fusion of the three where fashion meets technology. The resultant creations catch your attention immediately. There is a coat reminiscent of a Mondrian painting that changes colors in response to light. Another highlight of the collection is a dress which is called Picasso Explosion and it emits light as a reaction to sound. The designer doesn’t think that these are experimental clothes or gimmicks. She describes her clothes as a touch sense sound multisensory experience.
The trick of her trade, so to say, is technology and its effective use. She wields technology the way a couturier wields a needle and thread and creates techy fashion. Some of the dresses in the collection including the Mondrian coat are printed in a patented, light-sensitive ink. Sunlight and ultraviolet rays alter the molecular structure of the ink, changing the fabric’s color. The dress called Picasso Explosion lights up to music thanks to electroluminescent technology and a sound-reactive sensor. Sound triggers the sensor which allows electrical current to pass through electroluminescent panels attached to the dress. The phosphor crystals pressed between conductors radiate light illuminating a Cubist pattern printed on top.
However the designer explains that technology is not her focus. Her primary aim is to create something beautiful and uses technology to add that extra special ingredient to fashion. She likes exploring the emerging technologies and provides them with an expressive outlet. For her these clothes are not gimmicky but the fabrics which have magical qualities like changing color or responding to sound makes the dress interesting.
Amy whose full name is Amy Konstanze Mercedes Rainbow Winters considers herself as a new media artist and a fashion designer. She was trained in Theatre Design at Central Saint Martin and we can safely say that there is lot of drama in her work. She claims that her work lies at the intersection of fashion, visual arts, music, film, dance and theatre. Her clothes have that ‘wow’ factor and she is actually targeting the entertainment, fashion and advertising industries with interactive wearable design. About the Picasso dress she says that her aim was to create a stunning visual experience for the audience, where the audience can interact, speak, clap and sing to the dress whilst watching it change. It represents the cutting edge, experimental, boundary pushing force of interaction design and technology. Amy Winters clothes are more suited for high octane affairs. They look perfect in a music video or in a rock concert, award-ceremonies, advertisements, magazine editorial and red-carpet events. Amy aims to make techno fashion mainstream and not let it remain a prototype or an exhibition piece.