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Dress to impress – the dawn of the high-end wearables

07 Dec 2015 11:00

Cashless payments are getting a makeover, and they don’t compromise on style. With Lyle & Scott’s bPay jacket blazing a trail for the next big thing, fashion houses are fast catching on to the unique selling point that is contactless. And from the beginnings of the humble payment card to the handy wristband, it would seem a new wave of high-end wearables is emerging. With smartphone cases, sparkly rings, and sunglasses now taking the spotlight, this growing collection of clothing and accessories continues to capture the imagination.

The fancy frock

It was only a matter of time before the ‘little contactless dress’ materialised onto the scene. Created by Adam Selman, costume designer for the likes of pop star Rihanna, the NFC enabled frock contains a payment chip within the bow of the dress. Complete with matching purse, shades and gloves, the garment allows the wearer to purchase items via contactless by connecting to a payment app using Bluetooth. Launched in collaboration with MasterCard, the dress may not be available to purchase just yet, but plans to share it with the world are well underway for 2016. Keep your eyes on the catwalk…

Jungle jewels

To coincide with the ‘urban safari’ theme of London Fashion Week in September 2015, British designer Henry Holland stole the runway’s attention with his intricate range of insect accessories. The idea? To allow guests to buy pieces the instant they touched down on the catwalk. With a simple tap, enamel bug rings containing contactless technology helped VIPs, including Alexa Chung, make purchases directly from the models, all with a simple tap to the brooches pinned on their clothing. Though the rings were a one-off for now, Holland hopes that the ‘see now, buy now’ concept will help contactless creations make it to the high street.

Top of the trinkets

As one of the ‘fashionably late’ retailers to join the contactless crowd, it seemed fitting that Topshop made its entrance in style. In partnership with bPay by Barclaycard, the fashion brand launched its monster fish accessories range to the world in 2015. With contactless chips hidden discreetly inside, the smartphone cover, sticker, keychain and wristbands make it easy for shoppers to pick up everyday items. With a snake effect luxe range to follow later this year, it is thought that other fashion retailers could soon follow suit with other bespoke offerings.

The bling ring

Up and coming jewellery brand Ringly has followed in Henry Holland’s footsteps with a few dazzlers of its own. CEO Christina Mercando d'Avignon joined forces with MasterCard® to integrate payment tech into her NFC enabled rings, which are now available to purchase online. Crafted in quartz, sapphire, emerald or moonstone, these rings are a far cry from others on the market, including the world’s first contactless payment ring from startup KERV, as a fashion statement in their own right. With Ringly, KERV, NFC Ring 2 and other designs soon to make their debut, the discreet nature of a contactless ring might just be the fashion forward trend to beat.