By Margarita Nahapetyan
Posed in the display window of London's upscale department store Liberty, the former Wimbledon champion and current spokesperson for Sony Ericsson, Maria Sharapova, presented the high-tech prototype dress, which connects to the wearer's mobile telephone via Bluetooth technology and is designed to light up when the phone starts ringing.
Over a long-term project, Sony Ericsson has been collaborating with the School of Fashion Design and Technology at London College of Fashion in order to find out what kind of relationship can be between technology and fashion. The Sony Ericsson LCF partnership has involved more than 80 students from 4 degree courses, three year groups and from different countries across the world - all competing and aspiring for a chance for their creations to be displayed in the display window of Liberty, as well as the opportunity to meet Maria Sharapova in person and receive a special prize from Sony Ericsson. All students were instructed by the Sony Ericsson design team and were suported by Maria, who sent them a personal message in order to help inspire future designs and ideas.
The winning design came from British student Georgie Davies, 20-year-old second year student, who is studying for a BA in Fashion Design and Development. Georgie wanted to determine a way in which a person could be alerted when their cell phone rings in a noisy bar, club or restaurant. She came up with an idea to create a cocktail dress made up of interactive scales, inspired by wings of a butterfly. And the Bluetooth-enabled lights are present in this group of small, white translucent scale embellishments that run from top to the bottom of one side of the dress, from the shoulder to the hip. When the wearer's cell phone rings, the scales light up. On her inspiration for the dress, Davies said: "When you are in a pub or a bar, you can never, ever hear your phone." However, it is not known yet whether the dress will ever hit the market.
As a winner, Georgie received a prize that included two tickets to London Fashion Week, two tickets to the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Club and entry to the Sony Ericsson WTA Pre-Wimbledon Party, in association with Ralph Lauren.
Maria Sharapova, tennis superstar and fashion icon, has been appointed as Sony Ericsson's Global Brand Ambassador in October 2007. As a famous personality not just on in the sports, but also in the world of style and fashion, Sharapova has showed a good knowledge of fashion and glamour, by working closely in collaboration with Sony Ericsson to create and work on exciting and aspirational various fashion projects. The successful Maria Sharapova Design Collection was launched in 2008 - a collection of cell phone accessories, that were designed to compliment any woman's outfit. In future, Sharapova plans to continue her partnership with Sony Ericsson's design team and work on a number of other products and accessories.
Sharapova said: 'Even though most people know me as a tennis player, I have so many passions beyond the sport like fashion, music, film and design; which Sony Ericsson and I are going to be exploring together through our partnership.'