The little black dress has an illustrious history—one more political and meaningful than many people realize. Today it’s seen as a cultural staple: A woman can always do with one good one, unless you’re Victoria Beckham, in which case you may have a paralyzing array. Gerlain even has a perfume named after the little black dress, elevating it from a mere item of clothing into full-blown stand-alone symbolism.
But in the near future, your little black dress may get a lot more personal. In partnership with Ivyrevel, H&M’s digital fashion house, Google has launched “Coded Couture,” a program that could custom-build one specific to you.
In the video below, Swedish designer and Ivyrevel co-founder Kenza Zouiten explains how your habits and lifestyle can be plugged into an app that results in a dress, specially made for whatever you happen to need one for.
An Android app for what’s being called the “Data Dress” will use Google’s Snapshot API to passively monitor daily activity—whether your events are typically casual or formal, where you like to hang out, even the weather. After a week or so, these context signals are fed into an algorithm that produces a digitally tailored design you can buy.
For example, because it’s cold in Sweden, maybe the dress is velvety, with glitzy diamond details whose design stems from something specific to the wearer. It isn’t really clear to what degree the app will permit creativity … but hey, if you’ve always wanted to wear your running route like a brooch, here’s your chance!
The app is currently in closed alpha, being tested by influencers that include Zouiten. Prices may start at $99. If you like, sign up for a future trial.
This isn’t Google’s first foray into fashion. In 2015, Google’s “Made with Code” initiative worked with Project Runway judge Zac Posen to debut a “little black dress” for the digital age, decorated with animations designed by girls the world over.
And Google Creative Labs London won last year’s Cannes Lions Product Design competition for a “connected” jean jacket, the Jacquard, that it developed with Levi’s.
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