This High Tech Dress Dazzled New York Fashion Week Thanks to a Team of Teen Girl Coders

Designer Zac Posen and Google’s “Made With Code” initiative partner up at NYFW to get girls interested in computer science.

image via google

When model Coco Rocha hit the runway at designer Zac Posen’s New York Fashion Week showcase earlier this week, all eyes were on LED-imbedded dress she wore, which pulsated and twinkled with a shifting array of patterns and colors that played across its surface. But while Rocha may have been the one giving the garment movement, it was a team of teenage girls, responsible for coding the dazzling sequence of LED designs, who ultimately brought the dress to life.

Created through a partnership between Posen and Google’s “Made With Code” initiative, the LED-animated dress not only wowed spectators with its melding of high tech and high fashion, but is intended to call attention to the importance of programming knowledge for a generation of girls disproportionately underrepresented in the field of computer science.

To create the dress’ dynamic LED patterns, girls from New York organizations like Flatiron School, Black Girls Code and the Lower East Side Girls Club all worked to code their own unique animated designs, having been given a single day to tackle the project, but without being told exactly what their work was going to be used for, reports New York Magazine. Only later did they learn that Maddy Maxey, a fashion engineer and Made With Code mentor, had used the girls’ coded sequences for the Posen showcase.

A video posted by Coco Rocha (@cocorocha) on

The Daily Dot reports that fifty of the girls helped give the dress its unique luminescence were in attendance as Posen and Rocha unveiled the design to the public during his fashion week event.

Launched by Google to encourage girls to get excited about computer science–a field in which they claim less than one percent of women study–Made With Code offers a series of online programs and gameified tutorials which highlight the basics of programming, and showcase the many practical applications of computer science skills. Visitors to the Made With Code site can experiment with the same LED-programming code the budding computer scientists used to create Posen’s animated dress, as well as try their hand at various music and animation exercises.

Speaking with New York Magazine, Jenny Zeng, one of the girls who participated in the project, exclaimed: “People think coding sounds so hard. I kind of did too. But I found that coding is not that hard! It’s just like math or English, you just have to learn it”

[via the daily dot, cover image via youtube screen capture]

Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less
via Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube and The Late Late Show with James Corden / YouTube

A controversial editorial on America's obesity epidemic and healthcare by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show "Real Time" inspired a thoughtful, and funny, response by James Cordon. It also made for a great debate about healthcare that Americans are avoiding.

At the end of the September 6th episode of "Real Time, " Maher turned to the camera for his usual editorial and discussed how obesity is a huge part of the healthcare debate that no one is having.

"At Next Thursday's debate, one of the candidates has to say, 'The problem with our healthcare system is Americans eat shit and too much of it.' All the candidates will mention their health plans but no one will bring up the key factor: the citizens don't lift a finger to help," Maher said sternly.

Keep Reading Show less
via Gage Skidmore

The common stereotypes about liberals and conservatives are that liberals are bleeding hearts and conservatives are cold-hearted.

It makes sense, conservatives want limited government and to cut social programs that help the more vulnerable members of society. Whereas liberals don't mind paying a few more dollars in taxes to help the unfortunate.

A recent study out of Belgium scientifically supports the notion that people who scored lower on emotional ability tests tend to have right-wing and racist views.

Keep Reading Show less