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A few years ago Elise Co from the MIT Media Lab was working on a luminescent raincoat. It had panels that would light up when they got wet, mirroring the pattern of the raindrops.

Interactive rain gear has since made it out of academia and onto the runway. The June 2003 issue of Wired featured a transparent raincoat from Prada that becomes opaque when it gets wet from rain or perspiration. Miuccia Prada says, "Every piece of clothing shapes your body but also the space around you, the emptiness around you. This raincoat, from our 2002 winter collection, plays off that divide. ... It changes the relationship between what's inside and outside."

I'm not crazy about the perspiration thing, but I really like the idea of clothing responding to environmental factors like rain in a whimsical way.


so, prada is imitating freezy freakies and hyperColor t-shirts a la at least a decade ago. Iím not sure people want the private space around them exposed visually (or other) to the world. isnít that the antithesis of what clothing is supposed to do? now, if only someone could come up with something that the clothes could do in response to their environment that is both whimsical *and* desirable to wear...kerry?

Hypercolor t-shirts! I was trying to remember the name of those when I wrote this up. :-) I don't remember freezy freakies... A lot of fashion (and design in general) imitates or builds on prior trends/ideas, so no surprise that Prada does it too.

As for our private space, I think a lot of people do want to expose this. (See Kim Cattral's dress from last night's Emmy's for a perfect example.) I agree that clothing in some respects is meant to conceal, but it can be really effective when it both conceals and exposes, or at least creates the desire to be exposed. I don't think the Prada raincoat exposes much anyway. Because it's transparent in its normal state, a person much less vulnerable than if it started out opaque and turned transparent, possibly without the person realizing. So, for me it is desirable, but of course it's all a matter of taste. :-)

I’ve found blogging to be a great way to publish some unusual thoughts or opinions. I’ve always enjoyed engaging in interesting discussions with people, but you can reach a lot more people via a blog than you can in verbal conversation.

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This page contains a single entry by published on September 21, 2003 3:17 PM.

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