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Friday, 30 October 2009

Fabrican: Is Spray-On Fashion Feasible?

There have been a number of exciting developments in the world of fashion since the advent of modern technology, and a great deal of focus has been given to making the creation and wearability of fashion more convenient for everyone involved with a given article of clothing or accessory. From no-nonsense seams and stitching to false buttons and well beyond, style is often as much about effortlessness as it is about good looks. That's something costume jewellery knows well and truly takes to heart. The ability to slip on a cocktail ring or a strand of charm necklaces and step out in all the glory of classic jewellery beauty along with modern trends is one that makes accessorizing a dream come true, even on the busiest of schedules. But can convenience culture go too far when it comes to the world of fashion? That's a question recently posed to the makers of Fabrican, which, if you haven't already guessed, manufactures spray-on fabric that comes in a handy can form.
Immediate skeptics of the idea may do well to remember that some of modernity's most popular products have also been delivered in a can; after all, this is the era of Easy Cheese. Just imagine rummaging through your closet, dismayed that nothing seems right or would require too much dressing up, only to remember that you have a Fabrican for a certain outfit ready and waiting up in the stacks of suitcases and other detritus. Pop the cap, apply a few squirts, and you're ready to go -–no buttoning, zipping, or safety-pinning required! Such is the promise of the Fabrican, which has been seen in action lately as applied to Mo Rocca of The Tomorrow Show (a trial which had mixed results; one observer suggested Rocca looked as though he had had an accident). But despite the ease with which clothes might be “applied,” the Fabrican concept seems to have a few flaws that might need to be addressed before shoppers start heading to the canned goods section for their style.
Perhaps chief among the concerns is temperature control. Fabrican garments pay provide a small degree of protection against the elements, but it's hard to imagine wearing a spray-on “sweater” in the midst of a particularly cold December evening. Structure may also be an issue, as so many pieces of clothng serve not simply to cover the body itself, but to create a certain visual form over it with various cuts and shapes. And of course, or most pressing worry is over the possibility that spray-on accessories such as costume jewellery may take a hint from the fad and send us can-crazy with spray-on earrings and other strange fashion delights. At this stage, however, it looks as though Fabrican and its makers might not prevail beyond the realm of the novelty, leaving traditional fashion -–inconvenient as it may be-- to take care of the serious business.

a spray-on Fabrican shirt being applied

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