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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

The Fashion Geek

If your son or daughter loves both tech and fashion and is clever and crafty, then we highly recommend taking a look at Fashion Geek: Clothes Accessories, Tech, a new book from Diana Eng. If you’re a fan of Project Runway, you’ll recall that Diana was a contestant on the second season, where she created a number of technological fashions, with the most remembered one probably being the skirt that was fastened with magnets.

In the book and on her blog, FashionNerd, Diana is pioneering an emerging generation of tech savvy women who demand stylish yet practical designs with an electronic flavor. Quote: “Now you can take simple, girly items such as a hoodie or scarf and transform them into must-have techno-accessories through approachable, step-by-step directions.”

In Fashion Geek: Clothing, Accessories, Tech, Diana, guides would-be crafters through the process of making techno-garb, such as the handmade headphone hoodie - a jacket with the speakers built in to the hood; a digital locket that lets you display photos from your digicam, phone, and e-mails; and buttons that light up when you open your jacket and turn off when you close it. Full-color photos make it easy to see how every project comes to life.

Diana says the book is very much aimed at young girls, “One of the things that got me out of wanting to go into math was when my dad took me to a math conference, and I didn’t see anyone like me. Girls don’t see that you don’t have to be a stereotypical nerd if you major in computer science. Makeup companies always need chemists. A lot of girls I knew growing up really liked makeup. If they knew that they could design makeup all day, they would have paid more attention in chemistry class.”

Diana has long enjoyed taking apart the likes of cell phones, digital cameras, and heart monitors and sewing them into clothing. One of Diana’s more memorable creations is her Inflatable Dress, which uses a hacked hand vacuum and a series of valves to adjust its shape in response to deflating and inflating. She is probably more comfortable with needle-nose pliers, wire cutters, and conductive thread than many of us.

The launch party for the new book – complete with a Haute Tech fashion show – was last month in New York City. There’s a short behind-the-scenes video posted at her blog with a promise of more to come soon. You can also keep up with Diana at Craftzine where she is a contributor.

Fashion Geek: Clothes Accessories Tech
is currently available at Amazon.com.

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