Shared by reBlog @ Eyebeam

It’s a little short notice, but if anyone fancies taking part in a fascinating parapsychological art experiment this weekend, look no further:


Royal Academy Schools, 1-2 October 2010

Researching a series of unexplained incidents at this historic building, artist Blue Firth uncovered a first-hand account of apparent poltergeist activity in the artists’ studios.


Radar made a great video of the Fairytale Fashion project. They captured some really beautiful shots and showed some of the work behind the collection.

It’s always crazy behind the scenes. We filmed this whole video in one day at three different locations! There was a video crew of about 8 folks, 2 photographers, a photo assistant, 3 models, hair, make-up, and my assistant for the day Luther Cherry.


Finally, I met with a nice vendor who makes really high quality components for companies ranging from Michael Kors to Disney! They even sent me back to my office with a huge library of components. And I have a very promising appointment with a leather supplier tomorrow, and some appointments later in the week. Things are looking up!

I also found out later from some fashion designer friends that they haven’t always had the best experiences at trade shows. It’s not just me! Most of the vendors I am working with are contacts from previous jobs.


Image courtesy of premierevision-newyork.com

A few weeks ago I hit the fashion trade shows (Texworld and Premiere Vision) to start the search for components. I had a really discouraging time. It turns out that when you tell manufacturers that you want to put electronics in clothes, some of them A. think you are crazy and B. don’t want to do business with you.


It’s time to start designing from the ground up. For a fashion designer that means finding vendors who will supply the zippers, snaps, rivets, toggles, buttons, etc.. Designers usually deal directly with the manufacturer or with an agent who represents different factories. Today there are very few American based vendors, most are overseas (wish I learned Chinese when I was little).

Vendors provide sample cards, books, or catalogs of their components for designers to keep in a library. As a collection is designed, designers refer back to this library. Vendors may add new components each season that reflect trends. Once a library is built, it is constantly updated.


When I was on Project Runway there was a “clothes off your back” challenge where you had to make a new outfit out of everything that you were wearing. We were all wearing wireless microphones and I wanted to hack mine and put it in my garment. This prompted a discussion with Tim Gunn over if hacking the microphone was the easiest way to achieve what I wanted. Or was I just using the technology as a gimmick because it was there. It turned out there was an easier way that didn’t involve the microphone.

This is something that I always keep in mind when designing. There is a huge debate over whether tech belongs with fashion or if the combination is gimmicky. Soft circuits are very popular in the craft/DIY realm because there is a certain joy to doing-it-yourself. That’s why I like to play with ham radio instead of just using the internet or a cell phone.


I love my hacker space NYC Resistor. It’s very grassroots, full of energy. Working at Resistor is what I imagine working in the garage where the computer was invented would have been like. But as I am getting serious about selling my designer fashion line, I was having trouble getting in the right mindset. In fashion it’s the kiss of death for your design to look crafty. So working in a hacker space that’s all about “making things yourself” all of the DIYness doesn’t make me feel very high end designer. I have no idea why.


July 13th, 2010
Open Hardware
Ayah Bdeir and Phil Torrone, MAKE
Today, we announce the draft of the definition for open hardware, as initiated from the Opening Hardware Workshop that I hosted at Eyebeam. Early signatories include: Arduino, Adafruit, Make, Sparkfun, Wired, Buglabs, Makerbot, Chumby, Creative Commons, etc.. Let us know your thoughts! More here


ARRL Field Day is June 26-27th, it is a national event during which radio operators promote ham radio by setting up stations and transmitting in parking lots, open fields, etc. To celebrate, my hacker group, NYC Resistor is throwing a ham radio party where we will be making contacts, giving demos, and dancing. Remember, hams were some of the original hackers.

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