“Only with technology can you create new things in fashion. Everything else has been done”
Fashion designer, Hussein Chalayan, worked together with Intel to create two wearable devices that reveals its wearers mental states. This was displayed in his Spring/Summer 2017 Collection at Paris Fashion Week in September 2016 called ‘Room Tone’. This was a unique response to the nature of life. It presented a series of studies that visualized emotional states.
The glasses collected biometric data from sensors around the body that monitored brain activity, heart rate and breathing rates. This then determined the stress level of the wearer. The belt then projects image that reflects the state of mind of the wearer to the outside world.
During the show, models proceeded down the catwalk whilst a voice-over described common thoughts that effected our emotions such as “Fear of terrorism has become part of my daily life,” and “I am trying to control the fear with my breathing”. This was accompanied by visual projections showcasing the models stress levels on the wall beside them.
The models were told to control their breathing and to try to bring the images back to their original, unstressed state. For Chalayan, these accessories are expressive tools that make our emotions matter. The show was about the awareness of stress and the importance of breathing. He said that “the overlap is vulnerability” and the aim of tracking the models stress through biometrics is to then manipulate it with breathing exercises.