Technology working with fashion to create custom clothing
Allan Chan, a professor at the Institute of Textiles and Clothing at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China has developed a self-programmed mannequin that can change sizes. Named the iDummy, it is a type of dress form that can change expand or shrink and is set to be a game changer for the fashion world.
Not quite at the Ex Machina level, this cross between technology and the human form looks somewhat like a sleek crash test dummy without a head. The design came about after Chan noticed that stores replaced their mannequins too often in favor of a different body type. Seeing how fashion and people’s bodies change as well as their correlation to one another, Chan realized that throwing old mannequins away was a waste that could be prevented. This gave him the idea of creating a form that can be several in one, thereby stopping the need for constant change.
The iDummy has several purposes that can help a variety of fashion businesses. From being a display mannequin, a customizable design form or to helping make tailored pieces better based on measurements this product is versatile. Custom clothing can be created by just sending in a person’s measurements that can be put into the programming so the customer doesn’t have to come in.
The innovative mannequin goes for $12,000 for a torso and $18,000 for a full body. It can change sizes from a 2 – 12 and is bound to save designers time. While the iDummy is expensive, it’s meant to be cost effective and sustainable in the long run. The prototype was first created in 2013 and currently Chan has sold a little over a dozen though he continues to improve the design. The iDummy is still in its earlier stages because Chan wants to expand his line of forms to plus size and then to have the dummy embedded with sensors that will report how comfortably clothing fits as the body expands.
So far it’s mostly been sold in China and other Asian countries though Chan plans on selling to the European and American markets in the near future. Take a look at it in action here:
Text by Taisiya Vivien Moon