Dress Smart: Iris van Herpen’s Tech-Meets-Fashion Fantasy
The designer imagines the future of wearables.
Part of’s Fashion x Tech Week.

Wearable technology is an inevitable reality—one day we’ll all be wired in ways we never imagined. But the future of smart fashion isn’t necessarily the fusion of gadgets we already have with what we wear. The beauty in the ongoing collaboration between fashion and tech is how different and creative new solutions will be. For Marc by Marc Jacobs designer Katie Hillier, the future of wearable tech is about seamlessly merging the digital tools we use every day with personal style. For a different perspective, we asked Dutch designer Iris van Herpen to sketch her vision, and she took things in a much more fantastical direction.
“If technology would be unlimited, then a dress that denies gravity would be the first thing I would make,” Van Herpen tells “Since skydiving is my favorite thing to do, the dress would make it possible to dance in space in any direction, upside down.” (Some of her current sculptural creations, especially her couture pieces, seem like they already have the capability to do so.)

Not only can her creation defy gravity, it can also translate birdspeak. “As a child I had a jackdaw [a small crow] that also accompanied me toward school. It was sitting on my shoulder and always talking to me,” explains Van Herpen. “I never knew what he was trying to say to me.” This feathered creation could fix all that. “The dress translates the birds talking to you so you can understand their language,” she says.