Hyères, France – We are currently in Hyères with IFM and 42 Born To Code students for the International Fashion & Photography Festival, thanks to the French Couture Federation, to speak at two panels about how tech can disrupt the fashion industry (this morning at Le Marais, and tomorrow at 10:30 at Villa Noailles). Tonight, we were delighted to discover the 10 young designers’ collections, competing for the esteemed prize. Amongst them was Clara Daguin, a young designer we met during the Fashion Tech Week Greenathon last September. Her collection featured beautiful silhouettes with intricate integration of technology.
Clara Daguin holds a Masters of Fashion Design at ENSAD in Paris and a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design from CCA in San Francisco. She previously worked at Margiela, Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan or Iris van Herpen. Growing up in the Silicon Valley has had a profound effect on her creative process, as she developed a natural curiosity for technology and participated in several workshops, including one at the MIT with Leah Buechley. Living in close proximity to many of the world’s most influential tech firms has deepened her need for the hand-made and human aspect in design and innovation. She believes it is essential to keep manual savoir-faire alive while embracing technology as both a creative inspiration and a solution-provider.
Tonight, she presented Body Electric, a collection where traditional savoir-faire and intricacy meet technology. Made of ultrasonically welded polyester, the outfits featured woollen parts, embroidered silk and LEDs combined with light-conducting nylon fibres that illuminated parts of the garments. The models wore ear accessories with built-in heart rate monitors. The leather shoes with translucent luminous platforms completed the silhouettes.
It is very exciting to see Clara being recognized as an emerging designer with great talent. While creating with a cross-disciplinary vision, she lets technology get in her creative process as a source of inspiration rather than just a problem-solver. She tries to make technology more human and compatible with more traditional savoir-faire and opens herself to other expertises in fields that may first seem too far from fashion to be considered in the first place. Her work showcases a great understanding between all the artists involved in its creation. What Clara did is a case-study for any fashion brand who wants to open itself to innovative minds. The relationship between fashion and technology has to be a sincere, horizontal one if one wants to end up with a coherent while aesthetically pleasing product.