A line of futuristic women's fashion from Cute Circuit, a London-based fashion company, was unveiled at the Wear It Festival in Berlin. A line of futuristic women's fashion from Cute Circuit, a London-based fashion company, was unveiled at the Wear It Festival in Berlin. A line of futuristic women's fashion from CuteCircuit, a London-based fashion house, was unveiled at the Wear It Festival in Berlin. (Photo: Wear It Festival/CuteCircuit)

The future of fashion means your clothes can signal others for help

That's the newest trend at Berlin's Wear It Festival, and it could be in your closet one day.

You can carry a device in your purse like most people, or you could wear it like a sweater. Either way, you've connected yourself in a way that could act as a distress signal should you find yourself in an awkward, or even dangerous, situation.

That's the idea behind a creative and groundbreaking trend in fashion recently unveiled at the Wear It Festival in Berlin: clothing that communicates.

A festival attendee gets a look at an LED dress exhibit at the Wear It Festival in Berlin.A festival attendee gets a look at an LED dress exhibit at the Wear It Festival in Berlin. (Photo: Wear It Festival)

Innovations on display included a line of sportswear developed by a German startup entrepreneur that stimulates your muscles and tracks your movement; a sweater developed by an American designer that senses when you're in an uncomfortable social situation; and a 3D-printed ring developed by an Israeli guru that doubles as a panic button, alerting others in an emergency.

LED dress Laura KriefmanAt first, it looks like a vibrant light show. But look closer and you'll see it's actually a performer wearing an LED dress while dancing. (Photo: Wear It Festival/Laura Kriefman)

The two-day festival, which kicked off June 8 in Berlin, aimed to show "the potential of wearables with focus on the development of new products, creation of visionary prototypes and most forward thinking concepts."

jacket from Martina Uhlig, a German researcher, is designed to encourage senior citizens to stay active and mobile.This jacket from Martina Uhlig, a German researcher, is designed to encourage senior citizens to stay active and mobile. (Photo: Martina Uhlig)

“We are still basically wearing the same things our grandparents did, just the cut is different, but imagine how much technology has evolved since then,” festival founder Thomas Gnahm said. “We think now is the time for fashion to catch up to technology.”

SUPA, a line of artificial intelligence-enabled sportswear, released both a onesie and a sports bra that connect to an app and can track movement and sense biometrics.SUPA, a New York-based line of artificial intelligence-enabled sportswear, released both a onesie and a sports bra that connect to an app and can track movement and sense biometrics. (Photo: Wear It Festival/Sabine Seymour)

One of the most thought-provoking products came from Yael Kochman, founder of Fash&Tech, a startup in Israel specializing in helping other companies blend fashion and technology. She introduced a 3D-printed ring that can sense when a person is in distress and issue an alert.

Though that's still in development, Kochman herself has been instrumental in producing technology that lets users press a button to see what clothes look like without actually trying them on.

A sweater for uncomfortable social situations was unveiled by California-based designer Sasha de Koninck, who claimed the invention can sense heightened perspiration rates and other indicators and release a sound that can either alert others of the wearer's distress or act as a comfort to the wearer.

Garment for Uncomfortable Social Situations by Sasha de KoninckThis sweater is also an anxiety reducer. (Photo: Sasha de Koninck)

And Antelope, a German-based company, unveiled its electrode-integrated line of sportswear that uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) to help athletes make the most of their training. And, oh, make them look like cyborgs.

Antelope Sportswear's tank top uses electrical muscle stimulation to increase intensity and efficiency of workouts.Antelope Sportswear's tank top uses electrical muscle stimulation to increase intensity and efficiency of workouts. (Photo: Philipp G. Schwarz)

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