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Internet-à-Porter: 5 Wearable Technology Products for Smarter Fashion

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Wearable Technology
PHOTO | Levi Strauss
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We live an era where people have a personal computer in their pocket or on their wrist. These devices also have almost instant and interrupted access to the Internet and the global hive mind. That tech continues to get smaller, smarter and faster with each generation. So much, the next logical step for everyday technology is to blend it with everyday apparel — in what is known as wearable technology, or wearables.

From Saint Laurent to Levi’s, these 5 wearables will make you think less about Google Glass and more Internet-à-porter.

Jacquard x Saint Laurent

Wearable Technology

PHOTO | Jacquard

Saint Laurent is a French luxury fashion house (founded by its namesake Yves Saint Laurent), known for its aspirational high-end fashion, handbags and fragrances. And Jacquard by Google transforms clothing, making for an entirely new take on wearables. Jacquard technology is woven into the fabric of your clothes and accessories, such as the Jacquard x Saint Laurent Cit-e Backpack.

From taking photos, to playing music and even navigation, you can control your smartphone from touch gestures made possible by the Jacquard tech integrated into the left strap of the backpack. The backpack functions like the Apple Watch, with the interactive features built into what is an everyday item.

Jacquard x Levi’s

PHOTO | Jacquard

Founded in 1853, Levi’s has a long history of fashionable, yet innovative and functional clothing. The obvious next step was a collab with Jacquard by Google. That resulted in the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket, the first product to be offered by Jacquard, which upgrades one of Levi’s most iconic products with user-friendly tech.

With features like articulated shoulders, reflectors sewn in, and a dropped hem at the tail, the denim jacket was specifically designed for urban cyclists. The Jacquard tech takes the features even further, with the functions woven right into the sleeve of the Commuter Trucker Jacket. This allows riders get directions, control their media, and stay connected while on the bike and on the go.

Bose Audio Sunglasses

PHOTO | Bose

Remember caps with headphones attached? It’s time to forget that kind of novelty. That won’t be difficult after using the Bose Audio Sunglasses. The sunglasses have built-in speakers (it is Bose after all) to make for an immersive audio experience. The thing is, the frames still look like sunglasses, only with the state-of-the-art audio tech embedded in a classic design.

The wearer hears rich, immersive audio, while everyone else hears almost nothing. That’s thanks to the exclusive miniaturized Bose speakers hidden in the temples. The frames aren’t just a comfortable way to listen to music or a podcast, with the company having also developed Bose AR, the first-of-its-kind audio augmented reality platform to complement the tech. That lets users experience more by augmenting the way you experience the world with content for ears instead of eyes (enhancing certain apps like Coachella’s).

Apple Watch

Wearable Technology

PHOTO | Apple

It’s easy to forget that it was one of the first wearables available to the public (and also the best-selling) when it was released in April 2015. So, while the Apple Watch isn’t new tech, it definitely is cutting-edge tech, as the recently announced Apple Watch Series 5 is definitely that.

The Apple Watch is more than an interface between your smartphone and the user. The smartwatch has all the features of your iPhone but incorporates dedicated fitness tracking and health-oriented capabilities. The new Series 5 can even keep an eye on your heart, checking your heart rate throughout the day, notifying you if it appears too high or too low. Being customizable in the way of a case and strap (available from Apple Watch Studio), the Apple Watch isn’t just user-friendly but also a statement.

Oura Ring

PHOTO | Oura

Like a watch, a ring isn’t for everyone. But unlike a watch, a ring is less intrusive, especially when it can still track your sleep and your fitness. That kind of smart ring is available from Oura and is one of the world’s smallest wearables, if not the most advanced.

The Oura packs a lot of features in such a small package. It allows you to gain accurate and usable information of your sleeping patterns, your heart rate, body temperature trends, repository rate, even the steps taken and the calories burned. Not just that, but Oura can measure blood volume (directly from the palmar arteries of the finger) and the amplitude and intensity of body movements (through a 3D accelerometer and gyroscope). Put simply, it’s like an activity tracker but in a more discreet package.

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Fashion

The 2021 Met Gala Red Carpet: Weird, Wonderful & Political

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2021 Met Gala Red Carpet
PHOTO | VOGUE

The Met Gala Red Carpet was rolled out on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a year off due to Covid-19. There were multiple show-stopping outfits from Lil Nas X while Kim Kardashian and her estranged husband Kanye West turned heads by dressing entirely in black, even their faces.

Amid the glamour, some guests highlighted social issues. The Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had ‘tax the rich’ written in red across the back of her white gown and the sports star Megan Rapinoe carried a clutch bag with the words ‘in gay we trust’.

What was your favorite look?

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Cactus Jack x Dior: The Creative Collab Between Kim Jones & Travis Scott Debuts in Paris

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Cactus Jack x Dior

For Dior’s Spring 2022 Menswear collection, Kim Jones continued his creative partnerships that fuse different artistic and cultural influences. This time it’s Grammy-nominated rapper, songwriter, producer, businessman and designer, Travis Scott. Titled Cactus Jack x Dior — after Scott’s label, Cactus Jack Records — the collection debuted during Paris Fashion Week on Friday.

Scott has been close to the brand for a while, modelling the Air Dior capsule collection that the French fashion house developed last year with Jordan Brand. Through his Cactus Jack Foundation, founded last year, he partnered with The New School’s Parsons School of Design to establish a fashion program, launching his own scholarship program for historically black colleges and universities.

“A conversation – between two friends, two cultures, and two different eras – results in a collection that explores the identities of a groundbreaking modern musician and the heritage of one of the leading Parisian couture houses,” Dior wrote in the show notes.

According to a press release announcing the partnership, Cactus Jack x Dior is “the first full Dior collection ever created with a musician for the house.”

The Cactus Jack Dior runway

The collection draws from the desert landscapes of Texas, a nod to both Scott’s home state and a place house founder Christian Dior visited when he brought his debut collection to the United States in 1947. According to the show notes, Texas was an unexpected destination for the founding couturier and the grand canyons and huge dusty deserts made a lasting impression. So too did the ethos and spirit of America – in his own words, ‘the zest for life and self-confidence’.

The models appear in a desert landscape dotted with a buffalo head, giant cacti, roses and mushrooms. Bit by bit, the desert transforms into a rose garden in a nod to Christian Dior’s family home.

The colour palette features a soothing mix of dull pinks, café browns, dusty greys, creamy whites and pale blues, with pops of black and electric green, across Jones’ signature mix of exquisite tailoring and sportswear-inspired separates, and featured hybrid hats designed by Stephen Jones.

The graphics seen throughout — on prints, on embroidery, on patches — are a mix of Scott’s drawings and images from the Dior archive. There’s also collaboration within the collaboration this season, on a line of shirts hand-painted by George Condo that will be auctioned off to fund scholarships for the next generation of creatives.

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What Anna Wintour’s Recent Promotion Means for Condé Nast Worldwide

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Anna Wintour’s recent promotion at Condé Nast just made the influential editor even more powerful.

On Tuesday, as part of a broader strategy revamp under CEO Roger Lynch, Condé Nast announced that Wintour will become the worldwide Chief Content Officer and Global Editorial Director of Vogue — giving her final say over publications in more than 30 markets around the world — while continuing her oversight of U.S. Vogue.

The promotion gives Wintour vision over all of Condé Nast’s titles worldwide and puts her in charge of all of Vogue’s 25 global editions, on top of her longtime role as editor in chief of Vogue U.S.

Wintour is regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion. She was named Vogue’s U.S. editor in 1988 and quickly became one of the most powerful tastemakers in the fashion industry, making stars of upcoming designers while forging deep relationships with the top fashion houses. She turned the magazine into Condé Nast’s biggest moneymaker, and in 2014 she was named the company’s U.S. artistic director. Last year she joined a global leadership team to advise on global content opportunities.

For decades she has been chairwoman of the Met Gala at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she inspired the character played by Meryl Streep in the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada.”

“Anna’s appointment represents a pivotal moment for Condé Nast as her ability to stay ahead in connecting with new audiences, while cultivating and mentoring some of today’s brightest talent in the industry, has made her one of media’s most distinguished executives,” said Lynch in a statement.

Wintour’s expanded role is part of the media and publishing company’s move to install editorial leaders with a global vision for most of its brands.

Edward Enninful, the most powerful Black editor at Condé Nast, was made the head of Vogue’s editions in Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Simone Marchetti will become the European editorial director of Vanity Fair, putting him in charge of its editions in France, Italy and Spain. The American and British versions of Vanity Fair will remain under the control of Radhika Jones.

Condé Nast also announced the appointment of global editorial directors of AD (Architectural Digest), Condé Nast Traveler and GQ, with the remaining global brands to follow in early 2021. According to the company, the new editorial structure will “ensure global consistency of the brands,” including on the video front in partnership with the Condé Nast Entertainment team.

It’s been a turbulent year for Anna Wintour and Condé Naste. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement, the veteran editor was called out over lack of diversity at Vogue and was criticised by members of her own staff for fostering a workplace that sidelined women of colour. In June, Wintour herself acknowledged she had made “mistakes” by not doing enough to elevate black voices on her staff. She likewise admitted she had published images and stories that now are viewed as racially and culturally “hurtful or intolerant.”

“Undoubtedly, I have made mistakes along the way, and if any mistakes were made at Vogue under my watch, they are mine to own and remedy and I am committed to doing the work,” Wintour told the New York Times in October.

The changes come at the close of a brutal year in the media world due to COVID-19 and the drop off of advertising, particularly in print, where Condé Nast still derives the bulk of its revenue. The pandemic dashed any hope for a revival. In April, the company cut pay and furloughed staffers. In mid-May, the worsening ad crisis forced layoffs of about 100 people.

Whispers that Wintour would leave Vogue had circulated at fashion-industry parties and gossip columns for years. However, the announcement of Anna Wintour’s recent promotion seems to have dispelled that rumour as she has once again survived another round of intense criticism and seemingly emerged stronger than ever.

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