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Fibre optic dress can change colour on a whim

By AFP - Jan 11,2014 - Last updated at Jan 11,2014

LAS VEGAS — The techno-chic with a few thousand dollars to spare can sport outfits that can change colour on a whim.

London-based designer Amy Rainbow Winters showed just how in a FashionWare area at the Consumer Electronics Show here on Wednesday.

On display was a dress she made of fabric with fibre optics woven in and sensors in the sleeves. Light travelled through the cloth, which glowed blue. With a touch of a sleeve, Winters changed the colour.

“If you feel like having a purple, the dress will be purple,” Winters said. “If you later feel like having red, you have red. You just look at the sleeve and decide what colour you want.”

Winters designs fabric and clothes, then collaborates with technologists to make the materials needed. She works with many techno-fabrics, including some that react to sound, sun or water.

Nearby she had on display a dress with motion sensors in the cloth that changed colours if the wearer jumped.

Fabric she creates can be made into just about any garment.

“The fabric can be anything; pants, shirts, dresses, hats...” Winters said. “If someone is going to wear Google Glass they might as well wear fibre-optic pants.”

Her creations are custom, and have been used in entertainment productions such as music videos or to catch eyes in ads. She is not in the ready-to-wear market.

“I’ve had some retailers ask me about stocking, but you have to be really careful because they are so expensive to make,” Winters said.

“They are showpieces; but if people have a couple of thousand dollars to spare here it is.”

Fibre-optic dresses cost about $3,000 to make, but the price can rise depending on the design, according to Winters, whose creations are on display online at rainbowwinters.com.

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