Emerging Designers On The Rise: Ylenia Gortana – Wearable Technology

July 21, 2015

Since she was able to hold a pencil, Berlin based designer Ylenia Gortana has been passionate about drawing and fashion. Gortana started by studying object design in Lucerne, Switzerland and applied for fashion design in Berlin, which later brought her to Germany. With her love to create and invent new characters, Gortana became motivated in studying fashion design and inventing new appearances and personalities as a daily task.

Although the fusion with technology was fairly new to Gortana, the designer felt at ease when creating her final bachelor project, which includes “soundable,” functional fashion. She developed the concept of soundable fashion during an interdisciplinary course in an eLab at her University, where she also learned about electronic textiles and physical computing.

As for the design process of the outerwear, the entire jacket is built in different layers of conductive e-textiles and sectioned in a matrix of 52 handmade, square push sensors. The special craft and strategy put into this technique is simply genius, so lets get into the science of it all:

Layers within the jacket are made with a copper and silver thread layer which separates through a velotastic foil. This not only gives the sensors the ability to have a standard on/off feature, but also gives the jacket a whole range of signals to read in on. The sensors are then connected with a laser copper fabric circuit on the lowest layer of the jacket. Finally, the circuit ends in two Arduino Lilypad boards that connects to a bluetooth signal board, which in turn communicates with a computer. In developing this tedious concept of “soundable fashion,” Gortana’s goal was to come up with alternative ways of presenting fashion other than a common catwalk. All of the melodies and music featured in the outerwear is uniquely made by Birdmask as well. “The collection I make can support itself in presentation and making the sound for the show. This is the main reason why I call my jacket ‘Showpiece,’” Gortana says.

With her subtle designs influenced by classical existing shapes, Gortana’s wearable technology is inspired by the aesthetics of sportswear and technical garments in the fashion world. The design decisions in the ‘Showpiece’ project is functionality, which is why the designer chooses not to add any decorative elements. Bringing a new element and market to the runway and fashion industry, design student Ylenia Gortana is guaranteed greatness as she finishes school and furthers her skills in wearable technology. Check out the video and technical images of this masterpiece above. She’s also currently taking personal design requests, so get your orders in now!


By: Monyette Miller (@_m.miller)
Photos: Sebastian Pfütze

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