Ask anyone on the street what they think “wearable technology” is, and you’re bound to hear these answers: activity trackers, smart watches like the Apple Watch, VR headsets, and smart accessories — basically, electronic gadgets created in the recent decade or so. But “wearable technology” might have been around for a much longer time than you think.
The very clothes we wear, viscose or polyester for instance, are great examples of how textiles have become smarter over the ages. Designers like Yeung Chin, have been challenging the accepted aesthetic of fashion. Educated in Hong Kong and the UK, Yeung Chin is known for his unique aesthetic: reconfiguring body shapes through innovative clothing designs. The result is a futuristic street style, and surprising experiments with materials such as raw wood and inflatable clothes. We speak to him and find out more about his collection for MATERIAL.
Yeung Chin: My inspiration came from the HKRITA’s (Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel ) self-cleaning textiles. Washing clothes frequently causes the loss of colours, especially in denim, indigo dye as well as tie-dye textiles. Self-cleaning technology helps retain clothes’ hues, and reduce chemical damages to the clothes during the washing process.
In the meantime, we added items with different weights and layers in dyeing to obtain diverse colours. We tend to create from an artistic view. When dyeing we pursue patterns and colour distribution of a wide variety, for instance, we created a picture using hairs as materials to present patterns. This idea is also in line with our brand’s philosophy.
Yeung Chin: Fashion development and technology are inextricably entwined. Textiles and technologies such as “breathable fabrics”, self-cleaning and 4-in-1 technology are made for our life. Together they bring convenience and mind-blowing ideas to us. It is my belief that designers could only break new ground in textiles with the help of modern technology.
Yeung Chin: Our initial plan was that we showered our models with water, in order to highlight the waterproof quality of 4-in-1 technology, so that their clothes remained dry while water was dripping down their hairs. But the plan did not really work due to some textiles’ limitations. And after numerous trials and errors we eventually found a new solution— to allow denim and indigo dye to react with self-cleaning technology.
Yeung Chin: We are looking forward to our future cooperation with the HKRITA, who will continue to work and explore with us new technologies applicable to textiles. This is our first collaboration with the HKRITA, and certainly not the last, for we are exchanging ideas about our next project. I sincerely hope that our collaboration will create new textiles that can revolutionise the fashion industry.
Official Website of MATERIAL TRANSLATION － Smart Fashion event and Exhibition: www.pmq.org.hk/event/material-translation-smart-fashion-runway-exhibition/
YC Yeung Chin, H406, 4F, Hollywood, PMQ
Official Website of Yeung Chin: http://www.yeungchin.com/