Innovative hi-tech dress to be unveiled at BEEAs

A hi-tech dress designed by a 17 year old student will be unveiled at this year's British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs) on 14th October.

TV presenter and engineer Kate Bellingham will wear the creation while hosting the awards at the Globe Theatre in London.

The dress was designed by Abigail Williams from Amman Valley School, Camarthenshire, who was announced as the winner of the 'Engineering Elegance' challenge. The nationwide competition was run by the Design and Technology association to demonstrate the integration of electronics and textiles (e-textiles) and to encourage young people - especially girls - to make the connection between fashion and technology.

The dress will be made by wearable technology fashion company CuteCircuit which also designed the LED dress worn by Katy Perry at the MET Gala in New York.

Bellingham's dress will feature the latest developments in e-textiles including optical fibres and LEDs, while the standout feature will be a 'fibre optic waterfall of light' integrated into the fabric. The display can be turned on and off remotely from a matching bracelet.

Bellingham said: "I'm so excited to be wearing such an amazing dress. Abigail has come up with a truly personal design that showcases some of the latest technical developments in e-textiles. I was worried I might look like Blackpool Illuminations meets Lady Gaga, but in Abigail's dress I can be living proof that wearable technology can be elegant engineering."

Chris Shaw

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