Hard to believe, but LED-equipped shoes don’t have mean pulsating stripper heels or schoolyard-stomping L.A. Gear Light Ups. The results can be surprisingly elegant. Take Francesca Castagnacci’s fiber-optic-wrapped stilettos, for instance. Clad in fabric woven with light-reflecting optical fibers and high-efficiency light-emitting diodes, each shoe radiates an ethereal luminescence that is splashy, not flashy.
Fiber optics are long, skinny strands of pure glass (sometimes plastic) no thicker than a human hair. Used to relay light over large distances, optical fibers can be compared to a house of mirrors, bouncing light signals back and forth across its reflective core. Because of its flexibility and non-flammable nature—light, rather than electricity is transmitted—fiber optics have ingratiated themselves to designers of high-tech wearables.
Fiber optics are long, skinny strands of pure glass (sometimes plastic) no thicker than a human hair.
Luminex is one company that has embraced fiber-optic technology for clothes that pack a visual wallop. So has Lumigram, an apparel label that promises our nights will “never look the same.” Castagnacci has chose the more subtle route, however. Nobody wants to look like a walking Lite-Brite, Katy Perry notwithstanding.