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Cfuturistic fashion nanofashionlothing serves many purposes: it hides your naughty bits, keeps you warm, and is a billboard for your causes, tastes, and sense of style (or lack thereof). But in a world where your phone is a camera, a jukebox, and a weatherman--and even McDonald’s offers WiFi connections--our clothes remain defiantly low-tech. This is changing as scientists the world over are using nanotechnology, bulletproof materials and conductive thread to weave modern technology into modern fashion.

Miguel Caballero, Bulletproof Fashion

bulletproof jacketMiguel Caballero’s line of bulletproof clothing feature plenty of what you’d expect: bulky, pocket-packed camouflaged vests for old-school soldiers, and navy and black for all the wannabe Agent Mulders out there. But for those VIPs who don’t want to look like a rent-a-cop (or advertise their extra protection), he offers his “Black” and “Gold” collections. The Black Line is full of sophisticated Euro-style that any media mogul or oil prince--or princess--would be proud to sport. Take your pick from over 50 different styles of coats, sweaters, jackets and polo shirts for your bulletproof pleasure.

The Gold Line also features bulletproof coats, sweaters, and jackets, but with a more casual American style. From the “Urban Hoodie” to the “Laid Back Tee,” this line also has protection for those summer months, in case your enemies don’t take summer vacations. All these collections let you pick from three different levels of protection, so whether you fear handguns or Uzis, he’s got your back. Just don’t expect him to be cheap. Depending on the style and level of protection you want, these super-threads start at $1700 each.

Healthy Couture at $10,000 per yardglowing shirt

If your chest is more likely to catch a cold than a bullet, then you might be interested in experimental clothing designs that use modern technology to help keep you healthy. Intrepid Cornell students pioneered the use of statically-charged nanoparticles of silver and other materials to absorb and neutralize cold and flu germs, then used the technique to make a disease-free dress. Another fabric does the same with harmful gasses, including smog and other air pollutants. Don’t throw away your tissues just yet, the fabric in these health-couture dresses currently costs $10,000 per square yard.

Intelligent Textiles

futuristic fashionPlenty of research is going into so called “intelligent textiles” that will turn that lazy pile of Gore-Tex into a sensitive medical monitoring device or multimedia station. Scientists are making shirts that promise to detect illnesses, monitor vital signs, and even turn your body movements into usable energy for gadgets like a built-in GPS unit. One such garment developed by the University of Bolton in England is a bra that uses small changes in temperature to detect possible breast cancer and monitor its treatment. As technology becomes smaller and cheaper, expect to find your clothes multitasking as much as you do. 

In recent years, smart clothing has progressed significantly from wearable computers - where devices such as MP3 players or mobile phones are seamlessly integrated into clothing - to "intelligent" fabrics and clothes that can conduct electricity, change shape and even color." / Issue 139 - September 2018
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