Hoodie. Check. Headphones. Check. Soldering iron, wire cutters, conductive thread. Check, check, and check. Now if I can just figure out how to wield those last three items, I'd have me a handmade headphone hoodie. As the title suggests, that's a jacket with the speakers built in to the hood--and wearing one would be extra cool if I could say I made it myself.
And I might just be able to, with a new book from fashion designer Diana Eng. Some will remember Eng as the adorably nerdy contestant from reality TV show "Project Runway" who created a skirt fastened with magnets, among other more technically oriented fashions.
In "Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech," she guides would-be crafters step by step through the process of making techno-garb such as the aforementioned hoodie; a digital locket that lets you display photos from your digicam, phone, and e-mails; and (my personal fave) buttons that light up when you open your jacket and turn off when you close it. See the gallery at right for photos of these and more.
A founding member of the Brooklyn-based hacker collective NYC Resistor, Eng enjoys taking apart the likes of cell phones, digital cameras, and heart monitors and sew them into clothing (past creations have included an inflatable gown fitted with a hacked hand vacuum and a series of valves). She is, therefore, probably more comfortable with needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, and conductive thread than many of us.
Nonetheless, for experimental fashionistas willing to pick up a sewing needle--and a glue gun--Eng's book contains clearly laid out illustrated instructions for making some functional yet charming techno-wear.
Color me fascinated, for one. And next time you see me walking down the street in heels that light up with each step, don't forget to compliment me on my soldering skills.