Weather dresses go where the wind blows

Artist creates a series of dresses that wirelessly transmit data like temperature, wind speed and velocity, and rainfall back to the clothes, which then effect corresponding changes in real time.

Weather dresses
Valerie Lamontagne's weather dresses, from left to right: the Sky Dress, Moon Dress, and Sun Dress. Valerie Lamontagne

Not that you need your clothes to tell you what the weather's like outside, but a climate-reflecting garment still counts as a rather cool (or hot as the case may be) idea.

Contributing to the ever-growing field of wearable technology , Montreal-based digital media artist Valerie Lamontagne came up with a series of dresses that wirelessly transmit data like temperature, wind speed, humidity, and rainfall back to the garment. Custom-built circuitboards receive the information and relay it to the clothing's internal circuitry to affect real-time changes in keeping with the natural environment.

The gold, yellow, and brown Sun Dress, for example, has 128 individually addressable LEDs that fluctuate in brightness according to ultraviolet and solar radiation. The Moon Dress is cool gray with black accents and 14 color flowers that modulate from deep burgundy to pale blue as the moon waxes and wanes. My personal favorite, the Sky Dress, has a full, puffy skirt made of light parachute fabric embedded with tiny fans. The fans make 14 vibrating air pockets rise and fall with the wind.

Lamontagne took her inspiration from the Charles Perrault fairy tale "Peau d' Ane" ("Donkey Skin"), in which a medieval princess tries to avoid marriage to an odd suitor (um, her stepfather) by ordering him to fulfill what she believes will be an impossible task: creating three dresses made of immaterial materials. (Happy ending: she ends up finding a more suitable mate.)

Lamontagne has so far only shown her series as an installation, which is probably a good thing for now. Worn in real life, the dresses might not be able to gracefully withstand the extreme weather we've all been witnessing these last few months.

(Via Neatorama)

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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