There are many high-tech solutions to making fashion into a musical instrument, like embedding sound circuitry, sensors, and wireless transmitters. Designer Alyce Santaro has found a low-tech, but ingenious, solution: weaving a special textile out of recycled audio tape. Dresses, flags, and even messenger bags can suddenly incorporate audio materials. In 2003, Alyce built a special commission for John Fishman of Phish that allowed him to play rhythmic sound collages on the garment. (Shown at right; thanks, Alyce!)

If you’re in NYC, you can check out Alyce’s work in person at the January 4 Dorkbot meeting at the Location One gallery. Or check out more online:

Sonic Fabric Site

Alyce Santoro Portfolio

Fishman Dress Movie [zipped]

Sonic Fabric Gallery

You can expect textiles to be a major source of innovation in the near future: think conductive materials and flex sensors, cabling built into garments (via conductive fibers, not bulky traditional cables), and more, especially once embedded circuits get smaller, cheaper, and easier to use. Now, whether you look geeky or hot — and, more importantly, how you sound — is entirely up to you. CDM’s previous roundup looked at just a few possibilities (and sparked plenty of discussion):

Sonic Clothing Roundup: Projects, Resources, DIY