Exploring the extraordinary

The new material properties of Graphene

The Graphene Dress is the World’s first little black dress to incorporate Graphene.

CuteCircuit’s Graphene Dress was commissioned by Intu Trafford Centre to celebrate fashion Innovation. CuteCircuit worked closely with the scientists of the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester to produce special graphene substrates used in the innovative dress design.

The result of this collaboration is a fashion and science first and the world’s most technically advanced dress, the Intu Graphene Dress, a little black dress marking the first time that the revolutionary, Nobel Prize winning ‘miracle material’ has been incorporated into fashion.

The design of the dress reflects the properties of graphene also in its shape and decoration. An electron microscope view of Graphene shows hexagonal crystal-like formations, this inspired 3D printed crystal-like translucent appliqués combined with lightweight laser-cut colour changing elements that innovate haute-couture techniques.

What is Graphene?

Graphene is the Nobel Prize winning material that has the following characteristics: lightweight, conductive, transparent, and strong. Graphene is indeed the strongest material ever tested, it efficiently conducts heat and electricity, and is also transparent. This dress utilises a number of these properties to create an interactive smart dress that senses the breathing of the wearer and illuminates parts of the dress though transparent conductive films in response to the captured biodata.

The dress has a Graphene enhanced stretch sensor that captures the breathing pattern of the wearer. The data is stored into a real-time database, a powerful microprocessor analyses the data and depending on the depth of the breath taken by the wearer changes the colour of the dress’ LED decoration.

When the wearer takes a shallow breath the LEDs turn from orange to green, for a deep breath the LEDs change from purple to turquoise. The LEDs are placed on a transparent, but highly conductive, Graphene element, so it looks like the LEDs are floating on the model’s body, this displays the transparency and conductive ability of the Graphene, there are no wires in the dress.