Amy Winters is the brains behind Rainbow Winters, a fashion brand that seeks to create sensory garments by fusing art with technology. The results are incredible: colour changing fibre optic dresses, sound reactive skirts and even water reactive clothing! GS caught up with Amy to chat about the brand, showing her work at this year’s CES and the future of fashion and smart materials.


GS: So how did Rainbow Winters come about?

AW: I originally trained in theatre design (costume and set) and wanted to really make the costumes comes alive and tell their own story! My final year college project was an opera and I started to put simple lights on the costumes. This was back in 2006 and although the costumes ended up looking like Christmas trees it was the very start. I ended up working with a college friend and developing new materials such as holographic leather. By 2010 I had my own vision of where I wanted to take my work and Rainbow Winters was born! The name comes from my actual middle name and surname. I also love colour, which seemed apt.

GS: You mix technology and science with fashion to create AMAZING and clever clothing- what made you choose to mix these very different subjects?

AW: Science and Fashion are actually more similar than you think- both are experimental, both reflect the times we live in and both seek to advance.  There are different skills needed of course and I found the creativity of fashion and the pioneering technical skills of science an exciting force.

Rainbow Winters UV Reactive Dress

Rainbow Winters UV Reactive Dress

GS: Designers such as Prof. Helen Storey of London College are starting to integrate science and art to make science accessible to a wider audience- what’s your aim with your projects?

AW: I think Prof. Helen Storey’s aim is a very interesting aim. My ultimate goal is in line with Helen Storey’s. I would like to bring technologies to the masses. To create a new method of communication. The language I seek to create is through experimental play. I love the fact a teenager who does not speak English on the other side of the world can understand my work. These new ideas should be for everyone not just the elite few hiding in laboratories.

GS: Imagine you had a TARDIS. If you could travel to any era and collaborate with any other designer, scientist or engineer, who would it be?

AW: Currently I’m fascinated by the Victorian times and the Industrial Revolution- an interesting link to our current digital revolution. Another period of history would be the Renaissance Times, watching how Leonardo da Vinci would work, his  “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination”

GS: What was it like to see your work on show at this year’s CES?

AW: CES was like no other show I’ve been too- totally manic and very exciting at the same time.

GS: Do you think there will come a time when our entire wardrobes are made from smart materials?

AW: I think as smart materials start to evolve we’ll see the ‘new’ integrating with the ‘old’ much more seamlessly. Maybe we won’t have entire wardrobes made from smart materials; there will be certain elements, which are ‘smart’ and beautiful.

GS: Which of your pieces are you most proud of so far?

AW: The Thunderstorm dress launched the idea and is the most popular piece. I also made this piece on extremely limited resources and it was the little seed that started everything.

Thunderstorm: Sound Reactive Dress by Rainbow Winters

Thunderstorm: Sound Reactive Dress by Rainbow Winters

GS: Any future projects we can keep an eye out for?

AW: Quite a few I’m working on but I can’t say anything yet, look out in 2014!

GS: Have you any advice for aspiring designers who want to take the more technological/scientific approach to their work like you?

AW: Look at technology as an enabler but not a starting point. The design and the ‘art’ should come first and then think about how technology can add value.

Thanks Amy and we’ll be keeping an eye out for your new work! To keep up to date with Rainbow Winters, ‘like’ on Facebook and follow Amy on Twitter. Head over to the Rainbow Winters website where you can buy pieces, take a look at previous projects and like me, wish you had more clothes like this with extreme levels of awesomeness.

Reporter: Jess Hawke

Source: Rainbow Winters

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