My new book Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech is out in bookstores now. It teaches how to make 13 DIY electronic fashion projects using things like LEDs, hacked pedometers, and conductive thread. I had a lot of fun making this book, and the best part was designing fashions for other people to make.
Fashion Geek is crafts meets fashion. I followed the fashion design process: gathering inspiration, sketching, making samples, and drafting patterns to create designs that everyone can DIY. Most electronic clothing is futuristic and sci-fi looking. But to me the future is now. I want to make fashion and technology cute, friendly, and accessible to everyone — something that everyone can make and wear. My inspiration is cute things like Tokidoki + J-pop (Japanese pop culture) with a bit of a hipster edge to make the style more wearable for today. I use a lot of trim, ribbons, bells, beads, and cut-out flowers because it’s the little things that make a difference.
Even though there are many cute designs and embellishments, Fashion Geek is not only for girls. Projects like the EL Wire Shoes were inspired by the brightly colored fun clothing of Kid Robot and Japanese hip hop clothing brand Bathing Ape. I wanted to give the shoes an under light glow, but how could I add this without making it look tacky? I thought back to the super cushioned Nike Air Jordans, and added the glow in the cushion. Now we have a shoe with under lighting that is perfect for the Bathing Ape, Kid Robot, and post-Heatherette customer. In true hipster fashion, there is of course a hoodie, the Headphone Hoodie, that plays music in the hood.
My favorite design is the Felt Flower Flash Drive, a USB thumb drive necklace, which I wear all the time. It’s oversized and truly inspired by the cute things of J-pop. You can see it plugged into the computer, and me wearing it while MTV films my model call. Stay tuned for my next CRAFT entry Wednesday as I cast models, grab hair and make-up tear sheets, and throw together a few more garments Project Runway-style for the big Fashion Geek presentation this Thursday, March 19th. You can also catch up with me on my blog, Fashionnerd.com.