While I mostly do historic or historic-inspired costumes, I've always been a fan of high tech costumes. You know, the crazy ones you see at fantasy balls or cons with light up or move? So when my husband told me that Anouk Wipprecht was giving a talk on wearable technology at the LA Makerspace I snapped up a ticket. While you may not know Anouk's name if you saw the Black Eyed Peas perform at the Superbowl in 2011 you've seen her work. She designed and fabricated Fergie's costume and illuminated boots. If you haven't seen the video of their halftime performance it's worth a glance, the costumes are some of the best illuminated ones I've seen. The amazing sparkle is created by using a mesh overlay of Swarovski crystals with LEDs scattered throughout and attached to the mesh. Wow!
In addition to that Anouk's done some other amazing high tech designs you may have seen around the web like the famous moving spider dress. The key to much of her costuming is micro-controllers like the arduino lillypad, raspberry pi and (pink!) sakura to create the movement or power the lights. Motion sensors, medical equipment, LEDs, luminex fiber optic fabric and thermoplastics are just a few of the materials she uses for her amazing artistic creations. While I must admit that some of her talk was more my programmer husband's language than mine, it definitely got me pumped for some some future collaborations on high tech costumes. Maybe for Labyrinth of Jareth next year....? After all, he did create Rita Skeeter's Quick Quotes Quill for me!