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Heartbeat Controlled Fashion

Butterfly Flap Dress

— May 23, 2008 — Fashion
If you're wearing Alex Reeder's beautiful white Butterfly Flap Dress, you won't be able to hide the fact your crush gives you major butterflies. The second your heart rate speeds up, so does the pace at which the sensor-controlled butterflies beat their wings.

The dress was conceived by Reeder, an NYU grad student who realizes there's a whole new sartorial world that blends fashion and technology.

"Technologically keeping everything small: the battery, flapping mechanism, and so on, so they fit into the dress without impacting aesthetics was difficult," Reeder said of the silk organza dress. "Hiding the technology was a must for me, so that means layering fabric to cover the electronics. What fabric has the lightness of a butterfly, is beautiful, and can be layered as well? It took awhile to find what I was looking for."

He told his inspiration came from learning about Despina Papadopoulos (the softness of things) in NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

"To clarify, I'm not so much interested in 'fashion' (industry/designer to consumer top-down structure) as I am in transforming the clothes we wear, what they mean to us and how they effect our relationships," he says. "My background is in technology, although I have always loved couture."

While it sounds outrageous that tiny butterflies on a dress actually flap their wings to the rhythm of your heartbeat, it's actually not the first innovation we've seen that's controlled by the palpitations of your heart.