Bridging the gap between Bangkok and Berlin via FashionTech

With smart clothing and wearable technology becoming popular, the marriage of fashion and technology is becoming inevitable. To keep up with the pace, the FashionTech Academy at The PowerHouse constantly feels that it is important to groom the fashion technologists and designers of tomorrow. Last year, ElekroCouture & the FashionTechAcademy teamed up with the Goethe-Institut Thailand and FabCafe Bangkok during the regional textile project IKAT/eCUT and trained the first generation of FashionTech designers in Asia.

So what motivated the team of  ElektroCouture to travel all the way to South East Asia for this training workshop? Lisa Lang, Founder, ThePowerHouse and ElektroCouture says, “My job is to make things glow and join fashion with technology. In Asia, you have a network which is called the FabCafe and all of them have the same machines such as the laser cutter and 3D printers. In our workshops, you learn from experts who introduce you to the basics of sewing, 3D printing and modelling, laser-cutting and pattern making, electronics and soft circuits. Our skilled creative technologists introduce you to the world of FashionTech and wearable technologies and you learn new techniques and expand your knowledge on materials and manufacturing.”

In 2017, the top three designers of the training (Nicole Lao Ong, Nuttakat Khunkhon and Issaree Dunagkhae) then got invited by ElektroCouture to present at the Fashion Week Berlin in 2017.

Nicole Lao Ong, one of the winners of the contest who travelled to Berlin shares her experience of attending the seminar, “I was surprised to learn so many new things from the training, especially when we had the seminar in Bangkok Thailand. They (ElektroCouture) taught laser cutting and 3D printing that I myself have never done . It opened a whole new world of possibilities in terms of design for me. My work is a shoe that expands and is able to accommodate to the growth of the child’s foot.”

Nuttakat Khunkhong, another FashionTech designer who won the contest explains how he used his creativity and design skills to lay emphasis on a social problem, “The inspiration of my work comes from the LGBT community in Thailand. I studied in Japan for two years and there I realised that Asian countries are not very open to LGBT communities. I express closeness to this community through my illustrations and use them as social sarcasm. ElektroCouture is very supportive of my idea. They also mentored me about fashion technology and techniques that I can use.”

Lisa recalls the wonderful time spent with these students and concludes on a positive note, “We could feel that they worked so hard and they were so excited. We feel honoured to have been able to bridge some gap between Bangkok and Berlin through FashionTech.”