CH25: Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Wearable technology is much more than just watches and wristbands—and Pauline van Dongen is seeing to that. In fact, the Dutch designer goes as far as employing photovoltaic sciences and solar energy in the materials of her future-forward clothing, all the while keeping her silhouettes fashion-driven. On the surface, van Dongen’s designs are beautiful and stylish. Within the attire is a hub of integration. All her ranges include solar cells that absorb enough energy (and feed it to a standard plug) that they can charge mobile devices. If the sun’s energy isn’t a selling point, her eye for couture is. It’s this balance that defines her continued exploration into the marriage of fashion and technology.

“My work is a result of a hybridization or amalgamation of fashion with various other (scientific) disciplines,” she says. “I adopt new technologies in my work to create new values and meaning for fashion.” But technology is not a mere tool for van Dongen, it’s also one of aesthetics, “There’s a strong focus on materiality in my work, since I believe the future of fashion lies in its premise to be dynamic and changing.”

Read van Dongen’s full profile on the CH25 website.

Illustration by Jason Ratliff, images courtesy of Mike Nicolaassen