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It’s time to start designing from the ground up. For a fashion designer that means finding vendors who will supply the zippers, snaps, rivets, toggles, buttons, etc.. Designers usually deal directly with the manufacturer or with an agent who represents different factories. Today there are very few American based vendors, most are overseas (wish I learned Chinese when I was little).

Vendors provide sample cards, books, or catalogs of their components for designers to keep in a library. As a collection is designed, designers refer back to this library. Vendors may add new components each season that reflect trends. Once a library is built, it is constantly updated.

 

When I was on Project Runway there was a “clothes off your back” challenge where you had to make a new outfit out of everything that you were wearing. We were all wearing wireless microphones and I wanted to hack mine and put it in my garment. This prompted a discussion with Tim Gunn over if hacking the microphone was the easiest way to achieve what I wanted. Or was I just using the technology as a gimmick because it was there. It turned out there was an easier way that didn’t involve the microphone.

This is something that I always keep in mind when designing. There is a huge debate over whether tech belongs with fashion or if the combination is gimmicky. Soft circuits are very popular in the craft/DIY realm because there is a certain joy to doing-it-yourself. That’s why I like to play with ham radio instead of just using the internet or a cell phone.

 


I love my hacker space NYC Resistor. It’s very grassroots, full of energy. Working at Resistor is what I imagine working in the garage where the computer was invented would have been like. But as I am getting serious about selling my designer fashion line, I was having trouble getting in the right mindset. In fashion it’s the kiss of death for your design to look crafty. So working in a hacker space that’s all about “making things yourself” all of the DIYness doesn’t make me feel very high end designer. I have no idea why.

 

July 13th, 2010
Open Hardware
Ayah Bdeir and Phil Torrone, MAKE
Today, we announce the draft of the definition for open hardware, as initiated from the Opening Hardware Workshop that I hosted at Eyebeam. Early signatories include: Arduino, Adafruit, Make, Sparkfun, Wired, Buglabs, Makerbot, Chumby, Creative Commons, etc.. Let us know your thoughts! More here

 


ARRL Field Day is June 26-27th, it is a national event during which radio operators promote ham radio by setting up stations and transmitting in parking lots, open fields, etc. To celebrate, my hacker group, NYC Resistor is throwing a ham radio party where we will be making contacts, giving demos, and dancing. Remember, hams were some of the original hackers.

 

INTRO TO TWO STATEMENTS:

Re:Group: Beyond Models of Consensus proposes that with participation now a dominant paradigm, structuring social interaction, art, activism, the architecture of the city, the internet, and the economy, we are all integrated into participatory structures whether we want to be or not. The exhibition showcases work that subverts existing systems or envisions new alternatives to the ways in which individuals can take part, or choose not to take part, in social and cultural life.

 


There is a nice article about fashion and technology in this month’s Atlantic which talks about the Fairytale Fashion Show:

“On a Wednesday night in February, one week after fashion’s biggest names descended on New York for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, techy designer Diana Eng’s models were strutting a different kind of stuff: the Twinkle Dress, for example. As a striking brunette model slinked by, her flirty frock, embroidered with LEDs, conductive silverized thread, and microphones, lit up in response to tunes from a quartet playing homemade digital instruments. Off the runway, the dress’s microphones can pick up sounds from the wearer’s voice: when she speaks, she lights up in true diva style…”

 

Ben and I just launched our Kickstarter project yesterday to raise money for installing SADbot in Eyebeam’s window gallery. We already have four backers in less than 24 hours! Come join the fun at Kickstarter and then come by Eyebeam starting June 8th to see SADbot in action (if it’s sunny).

 


My OM, Dave Clausen created the Minty Buck, to charge his iphone while out on ham hikes. The Minty Buck charges up his iphone from his radio’s 12V NiMH rechargeable pack. Read more at NYCResistor.com.

 
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