The Galaxy Dress by Natalie Walsh. Photographed by Audrey Love

The Jellyfish Inspired Fiber Optic Dress by Natalie Walsh. Photographed by Audrey Love

Illuminated clothing is one of the more, ahem, visible branches of wearable technology, so itʼs no surprise that a few feet of EL wire can turn heads and add an extra dimension to your outfit. But that looks downright old-fashioned compared to these fantastic light-up creations. Some of these projects show that less is more. And the rest show that more is more. Take note: Itʼs not how bright you are, itʼs how stylish you look in the light.

 

Commissioned for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a single picture doesn’t do it justice. Preprogrammed light patterns cascade through the 24,000 hand-embroidered, full-color LEDs to create the largest wearable display in the world. Photographed by JB Spector

Galaxy Dress by CuteCircuit
Commissioned for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, a single picture doesn’t do it justice. Preprogrammed light patterns cascade through the 24,000 hand-embroidered, full-color LEDs to create the largest wearable display in the world. Photographed by JB Spector

Part wearable, part interactive duet, the female dancer’s jacket is programmed to light up based on the proximity of RFID tags worn by the male dancer. The lights follow him as he moves around her — the closer he gets the more the LEDs sparkle. Photographed by Andras Schram

Proxima by Laura Dempsey, Hannah Newton, SAIT RADLab
Part wearable, part interactive duet, the female dancer’s jacket is programmed to light up based on the proximity of RFID tags worn by the male dancer. The lights follow him as he moves around her — the closer he gets the more the LEDs sparkle. Photographed by Andras Schram

Using galvanic sensors attached to the wearer’s hands, the Mood Sweater reads excitement and translates into an “external blush” using color-changing LEDs in the collar. Photographed by Roger Dyckmans

GER Mood Sweater by Sensoree
Using galvanic sensors attached to the wearer’s hands, the Mood Sweater reads excitement and translates into an “external blush” using color-changing LEDs in the collar. Photographed by Roger Dyckmans

Inspired by jellyfish, this beautiful, bouncy dress uses 360 fiber-optic cables cut to different lengths to create the layered look. A kit is available online, or you can follow the online instructions and make it from scratch.  Photographed by Audrey Love

Fiber Optic Dress by Natalie Walsh
Inspired by jellyfish, this beautiful, bouncy dress uses 360 fiber-optic cables cut to different lengths to create the layered look. A kit is available online, or you can follow the online instructions and make it from scratch. Photographed by Audrey Love

This 3D-printed dress measures attention levels and heartbeat through sensors attached to the wearer and reacts by lighting up LEDs. The data is logged along with video from an onboard webcam in order to review emotional triggers or moments of high focus at a later time.

Synapse Dress by Anouk Wipprecht
This 3D-printed dress measures attention levels and heartbeat through sensors attached to the wearer and reacts by lighting up LEDs. The data is logged along with video from an onboard webcam in order to review emotional triggers or moments of high focus at a later time.

This dapper pocket square from lighting design firm LumiLabs is an understated yet eye-catching homage to a classic style. Photographed by LumiLabs

Draper 2.0 by LumiLabs
This dapper pocket square from lighting design firm LumiLabs is an understated yet eye-catching homage to a classic style. Photographed by LumiLabs

Why let the ambient light around you dictate how your jewels shine? Integrating conductive thread, high-efficiency LEDs, and BGA-interface integrated circuits, the pendant scatters colored light across the wearer’s skin and clothing for a dazzling, unique piece of jewelry. Photographed by Jeff McDonald

Nebula Pendant by Vlad Lavrovsky
Why let the ambient light around you dictate how your jewels shine? Integrating conductive thread, high-efficiency LEDs, and BGA-interface integrated circuits, the pendant scatters colored light across the wearer’s skin and clothing for a dazzling, unique piece of jewelry. Photographed by Jeff McDonald

Make Yeesus proud with this stylish piece of eyewear. Arduino-compatible with online documentation, program your own messages and patterns to suit your style. Photographed by Garrett Mace

LED Matrix Shades by Macetech
Make Yeesus proud with this stylish piece of eyewear. Arduino-compatible with online documentation, program your own messages and patterns to suit your style. Photographed by Garrett Mace

Tech Tie will definitely turn heads on the street. Sixteen small, OLED screens cycle through different animations controlled by a Seeed Xadow Main Board. Version 1.5 is on the way with e-paper screens, more functions, and smartphone control. Photographed by  Andras Schram

Tech Tie 1.0 by Jeff de Boer with Grant McKee and Shannon Hoover
Tech Tie will definitely turn heads on the street. Sixteen small, OLED screens cycle through different animations controlled by a Seeed Xadow Main Board. Version 1.5 is on the way with e-paper screens, more functions, and smartphone control. Photographed by Andras Schram

All eyes will be on you when you hit the town — or the races — in a handmade, fiber-optic-equipped fascinator headpiece. Photographed by LiteWeave.com

Illuminating Fascinators by LCH Designs
All eyes will be on you when you hit the town — or the races — in a handmade, fiber-optic-equipped fascinator headpiece. Photographed by LiteWeave.com

Could your expressions act as an interface? A wink, a smile, or a raised eyebrow triggers sensors attached to various muscles and relays the information to a microcontroller that sets off different light patterns in LEDs attached to the face and hair. Photographed by Yanura.

Kinisi by Katia Vega
Could your expressions act as an interface? A wink, a smile, or a raised eyebrow triggers sensors attached to various muscles and relays the information to a microcontroller that sets off different light patterns in LEDs attached to the face and hair. Photographed by Yanura.