Subtle Technologies Fashion Show 2016 Highlights

The 19th annual Subtle Technologies Festival this year focused on the technology of textiles, and the subtle ways in which old and new technology have shaped our lives and continue to do so.

Top innovative minds from Toronto and around the world gave us talks, exhibits and runway shows that creatively illustrated how textiles can be an information technology and how technology can be fashion statement.

The opening night’s exhibit by Peter Wilkins and Phillip David Stearns used digital data, including glitches from crashed hard drives, processed through a loom to create uniquely patterned textile pieces. Other displays used patterned digital images to create a “woven”, fabric-like texture. The exhibit reminded us that ancient technologies like the loom can be used to codify data.

The second night of the festival opened with an eye-opening talk by OCAD professor, consultant and author Marie O’Mahoney that examined issues of sustainability and environmental footprint in today’s high-tech fashion innovations. Issues of sustainability, she explained, must become part of every facet of design in every step of the process.

The opening talk was followed by a stunning performance by vocalist Kimya Hipolite while wearing a dress that served as a medium for Maziar Ghaderi’s audio activated projections.

Projection Art by Maziar Ghaderi

The first runway designers, Barbara Layne and Lauren Osmond, gave us “Maxwell’s Equations”, a collection of clean, futuristic dresses with led screens and antennas embroidered into patterns inspired by electromagnetic feilds. We loved these elegant designs!

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  • Maxwell's Equations Maxwell's Equations

The second runway show, “Haute Filtrage” by Gregory Phillips and Wendy Ng showed off science fiction style dresses with 3D-printed textures and sculptural elements.

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The third designer of the night, Alexis Boyle and Marisa Gallemit presented “Gimme Shelter, a series of wearable sculptures created from repurposed, recycled materials. The whimsical sculptures reflected the theme of togetherness, and the designers reminded us that cooperation is the oldest form of technology.

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We would like to thank artistic director Zach Pearl for all his hard work in bringing together this one of a kind snapshot of the latest innovations in fashion and technology in Toronto.

SubtleTechnology Artistic Director Zach Pearl