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Is wearable tech the future of fashion?

Emma Watkinson


When Topshop sent models down the catwalk last season wearing Google Glass, it was clear that wearable tech had arrived

The trend for wearable devices is tipping and with companies such as Google and Apple (the iWatch) leading the charge it’s no surprise that big things are expected from this emerging market over the next few years.

How appropriate it was then that Little Miss Geek, recently hosted their “Wearable Tech” event, supported by Microsoft & Dell, at  St Saviours and St Olave’s School, to celebrate International Girls in ICT Day.

Little Miss Geek is a social enterprise that is on a mission to inspire the next generation of girls to become tech pioneers. They’re working to address the balance of the UK tech workforce – only 17% are women and this number is falling by 0.5% each year.

Nicole Scherzinger in LED Fashion

The morning kicked off with presentations from Belinda Parmar, Founder of Little Miss Geek, Clara Mercer from the British Fashion Council, Francesca Rosella, the fashion designer behind Cute Circuit and Charu Desodt from Microsoft.

The students gasped in amazement when they saw video footage of Nicole Scherzinger wearing a Cute Circuit dress featuring tweets sent from fans in real time.

When Desodt told the story of her career form being one of the first programmers working on SingStar to developing games at Microsoft, one of the girls boldly shot up her hand and asked, “how much money do you make?”

The presentations showed the girls how they could be creative with technology and that there is a growing demand for women to join the UK tech industry and explore lucrative opportunities.

Next up, it was our turn to get involved in creating our own wearable technology. Seated between journalists from The Independent and Wired UK, I set to work on creating LED circuit embellishments for my Little Miss Geek t-shirt.

We had no issues with the tech, it was the fashion element, which proved difficult with our dodgy sewing skills!

Watch the event video

The students definitely fared better on this task, each creating patterns and enjoying the moment when they were able to connect the circuits and light up their design.  On the other side of the room, students were learning to program LED displays on sunglasses.

A little workshop on coding and within 20 minutes we had a room full of girls wearing light up sunglasses displaying YOLO.  Fun times.

Parmar and her team of lady geeks are passionate about encouraging girls to get involved in the tech industry and this passion is infectious.

By the end of the event, all of the students were excited, inspired and asking more questions about how they could find their place in tech.

By taking fashion and showing how technology can challenge boundaries to innovate, Little Miss Geek & the speakers demonstrated the possibilities for girls in what’s sure to be technology’s next major space.

Emma Watkinson is the founder of SilkFred.com and was featured in Series 1 of the Elevator Pitch

image credits: flickr/Little Miss Geek/LoicLeMeur

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