When technology meets fashion

Renowned New York fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg has partnered with Google to showcase the internet giant’s latest invention.

While she may be most famous for her hi-end wrap dresses, said to flatter any figure, von Furstenberg sent her models out in her most recent catwalk show wearing something altogether quirkier.

The designer showed off Google’s wearable technology at her New York Fashion Week show. Models wore a head-mounted display, a neat pair of glasses which has a small camera attached, meaning the wearer can film and photograph their viewpoint.

One of Google’s founders, Sergey Brin, said he was “delighted” to have been able to bring Google’s invention Glass to the runway along with von Furstenberg. “Beauty, style and comfort are as important to Glass as the latest technology,” he added.

It’s all part of a documentary being filmed which takes viewers through the creative process behind the latest collection and onto the catwalk. Called DVF through Glass, it will be shown on the Belgian designer’s Google+ page and on Google’s YouTube page.

It should give viewers a true behind-the-scenes look at how a top designer works as von Furstenberg, along with several members of her design and production team, and some of her models, have been wearing Glass for a whole week to show viewers what goes into putting a collection together.

Von Furstenberg first rose to prominence when she married into the German House of Furstenberg, becoming the wife of Prince Egon of Furstenberg. After their divorce in 1972, she has continued to use the family name, re-launching her company Diane von Furstenberg, often known simply as DVF, in 1997 when she first introduced her wrap dress.

Now her label is available in more than 70 countries, with a flagship boutique in Manhattan’s trendy Meatpacking district, so she is certainly a worthy partner for Google.

She said she hoped her use of the revolutionary technology would “give everyone a unique perspective into fashion”.

It has certainly been a unique project as the runway show was the first time the glasses had been used by anyone who did not work for Google.

Sex and the City star and fashionista Sarah Jessica Parker, who had front row seats, did, however, try out the special specs after the show and so did media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

There are rumours that Google’s Glass could soon become available to the general public. But, if that is the case, Google could find itself with some stiff competition.

A UK-based company has come up with a prototype of augmented reality. TP, The Technology Partnership, has made glasses which incorporate a tiny projector in one arm of the spectacles. The images are then reflected from the side into the centre of the lenses and beamed into the eye.

It means the wearer can see the image by looking directly ahead, unlike Google Glass, which has a small video screen in the bottom right-hand corner of the eye so you have to look down to focus on it.

We’ll just have to wait and see if either, if any, of the gizmos go on public sale in the future.