Haute technologie: The otherworldly designs shaping fashion's future

Technology is creating new ways to do and make and even dream, ushering in a whole new era for the fashion world.

Designs that in the past would have been difficult to imagine, let alone realize, are now just a click away from production. And the choices, not only of materials themselves but also of the ways they can be used and combined, are infinite.

    And yet, even though the range of high-tech design methods is expanding and the use of technology is becoming more prevalent, designers have not always been able to see the true potential available to them.

    Technological advances have clearly influenced a number of designers in the past -- the evidence is there in their collections and fashion shows.

    In the early years, though, these designers used technology principally as a means of creating spectacular effects on the runway rather than applying it to the garments themselves. It is only now that we are finally seeing it used to make an impact in the real world.

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