Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen has been tinkering with ways to incorporate wearable technology into garments in meaningful, useful ways. She sees a future in which clothing takes on lifelike qualities, such as being able to communicate with their wearer–like something out of a fairy tale.
As a first step, she’s unveiling an intelligent denim jacket at SXSW at a panel organized by Dutch New Wave. The garment is designed to improve mindfulness by highlighting the connection between our bodies and our minds. She has called the jacket Issho, which means “togetherness,” “same,” and “shared” in Japanese. Conductive yarns in the fabric are activated by interactions between the wearer, the jacket, and external bodies. Issho releases the sensation of a gentle stroke on the back that helps the wearer relax and be mindful of their body throughout the day.
“Issho doesn’t offer you instantaneous gratification like the kind fast-fashion products depend on,” she explains in a blog post. “Instead, like a friendship, it becomes more personal and intimate with the passing of time.”