Fashion of the Future: Is That Your Dress Ringing?

In May, pop star Katy Perry wowed the crowd at the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala Benefit with a light-up dress designed by CuteCircuit.

The custom-made couture gown was made from meters of soft silk chiffon and more than 3,000 LED lights.

The Galaxy Dress

Magnificent though it was, Perry's dress still might pale in comparison to CuteCircuit's Galaxy dress.

Embroidered with 24,000 full-color LED lights, the company said the gown is the largest wearable display in the world.

The Galaxy Dress is part of the "Fast Forward: Inventing the Future" exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and is made from tiny LED lights that are as flat as paper.

The thin, flexible circuits are hand-embroidered on a layer of silk so that the fabric can be as fluid as regular fabric.

According to CuteCircuit, the heaviest part of the dress isn't the circuits or lights, but the 40 layers of pleated silk organza crinoline.

Hug Shirt

Time Magazine said this CuteCircuit innovation was one of the best inventions of 2006.

A Bluetooth accessory for cell phones, the shirt lets people receive hugs via mobile technology.

Sensors in the shirt can recreate the sensation of a hug to wearers when others send an SMS-like message to their cell phone.

When a friend sends a virtual hug, the washable shirt is alerted and then passes the feeling along, capturing the touch, skin warmth and heartbeat rate of the sender.

Twirkle Shirt

Rosella declined to price CuteCircuit's bigger-ticket items, but she said the company opened up an online store this month.

For about $140, you can buy your own piece of LED-embroidered clothing.

The Twirkle T-shirt, for example, takes the technology in the Galaxy dress and marries it with a market-ready design. During the day, the crystals sparkle in the sun but at night, tiny white or color LED lights twinkle depending on the wearer's movement. The shirt is powered by two watch batteries and is washable.

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