Sunday, March 23, 2014

Colors are Heating up with Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang, Via Vogue
Last week we introduced you to a designer, Le Mindu, who is using some really unique colors to shake up the runway but Le Mindu isn't the only one pushing the edges of fashions with usual materials. Alexander Wang recently set his models down the cat walk in heat reactive clothing's that changed hue as the temperatures of models body and the air surrounding them rose and fell. The cool faces and stern walks of cat walk models we see in all those runway pictures belie the hot lights, tight quarters, and frantic behind the scenes efforts that keep a fashion show running smoothly. His pieces, many with intricately cut textural patterns, glow with shifting color, reveal more about the environment of the catwalk show than the simple veneer of theatrics. 

Wang's recent show, which was themed around the idea of “extreme conditions and survival," used the high tech fabrics as well as reference to outdoor wear with a mix of urban utilitarianism. But the colors themselves also have a utilitarian aspect to them. Much like the color change of poisonous animals in the wild, Wangs color could be seen as broadcasting information about the wearer to onlookers. In an age full of over sharing and selfies and a general sense  of always being in the public eye the colors embrace the visibility in a whole new way. 

Because Thermochromic clothing is not just peaking its head out on the runway anymore. Sports clothing is also embracing these heat changing colors to give athletes a whole new visual experience of their workouts. Radiate Athletics has created an application which lets the wearer watch the colors of their shirt change as they work out. Starting with a white shirt, heat sensitive colors intensify with peak muscle performance. So you get instant feedback as to just how hard your body is working. The shirts even show you where and which muscles are you working with each exercise! 

Images from Radiate's KickStarter Page
These clothes, on the runway or just on a run, allow us to speak about our world and our bodies using color. They reveal things to ourselves and others that would otherwise have been invisible.  Color can be powerful. Would you be comfortable displaying this kind of information to everyone you passed?

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