The Color-Changing Dress: A Tale of Fashion and Technology

Heidi Klum’s famous quote on Project Runway is, “As you know in fashion, one day you’re in.  And the next day, you’re out”.  What was hot in fashion one day will be a thing of the past the very next day.  Popular fashion choices change within a blink of an eye.  Ed Hardy clothing was a huge hit almost a decade ago, but now they are a thing of the past.  Nevertheless, there is always a new fashion trend popping up into the mainstream that will turn people’s heads.

Even in 2016, many new fashion trends are still turning heads and making waves on social media.  Statement scarfs, over-the-knee boots, bomber jackets, and man buns are just a few favorable fashion trends that are hot this year.  While some fashion trends seem to be making a comeback, technology has been working to extend creativity within the fashion industry.  One dress utilizes technology in such a way that could become a HUGE game-changer for fashion.

Australian e-retailer Showpo created a brand-new dress…that changes color with a press of a button.  Wavering dressers, rejoice!  People may no longer have to fret over what color dress to wear for their special occasion.  We have now gotten to a breakthrough in technology where we will see color changing clothes.

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Showpo is an online boutique retailer for women’s fashion.  They conduct their business over at the headquarters office in Sydney, Australia.  The retailer company sells fashion products such as dresses, bathing suits, play-suits, skirts, shorts, coats, and many other clothing necessities.  Jane Lu, Showpo’s CEO, released a video earlier showing off the color-changing dress on Youtube.

A model dons a flowy white dress with a high-low skirt, high neck, and cinched waist.  Jane Lu’s colleague touched a color wheel on his iPad and the dress becomes pink.  With just a touch of a button on the color wheel, the model’s dress suddenly turns pink while everyone screams with excitement.  Lu then remarks that she wants the dress to be blue and – with a touch of a button on the color wheel – the dress turns blue!  The dress is finally changed to purple, with everyone’s jaw dropping to the floor.

So what’s going on in the video?  Was there truly a breakthrough in fashion technology?  Or was this some advanced camera trick that made the dress look like it changed color?  I can tell you right now that this was NOT a camera trick or silly publicity stunt from Showpo.

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Here’s how the idea works: the dress was stitched together with a special fabric that could reflect different light frequencies.  That fabric is linked to a device (an iPad, in this case) that can communicate with the fabric, changing the frequency of light that the fabric reflects on.  So there’s the science behind that video: a unique fabric that links to an electronic device, communicating on a specific color choice.  This technological breakthrough could break new grounds within the fashion industry for years to come.

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This video was truly jaw-dropping to watch!  We have definitely come a long way with technology since I was a kid, but this has become a serious game changer for fashion.  I would love to see color changing t-shirts hitting the shelves soon (preferably one with skulls or psychedelic designs!).  Color-changing dresses could be the pinnacle fashion trend combining fashion creativity with advanced technology.  It’s so amazing to see fashion and science going to work to design something spectacular for the female demographic.

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This color-changing dress prototype would be the product extension that extends the mere creativity that goes with designing a dress.  When working in a creative environment, you always have to ‘think outside the box’ for that light bulb to light up within your head.  It wasn’t what was ON the dress, but more about how it could interact with the people around you.  Wearing this dress will surely turn lots of heads at that popular cocktail party with your friends.  Showpo’s color-changing dress truly set the stage for what will be trending in the future.


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