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In The 1960s You Could Wear an Electric Dress

Illustration for article titled In The 1960s You Could Wear an Electric Dress

In 1967, designer Diana Dew's light-up mini-dresses and pants pulsed to the music at the hippest discotheques. Still in her early 20s, Dew invented a rechargeable battery pack that powered what Time magazine called "pliable plastic lamps" sewn onto dresses and pants.


Priced at $150, the dresses weren't cheap, but they were plenty fun. Wearers could adjust the lights to flash from one to twelve beats per minute, while the batteries were good for five hours of go-go-ing. "If a girl wants to flash for ten hours, she'll have to get a bigger battery," Dew told Time in 1967. Dew's switched-on fashions fit right in with paper, plastic and other futuristic designs of the times. But it wasn't all frivolity: according to author Joel Lobenthal, Dew eventually sold the technology to the U.S. military. Photo by Ed Pfizenmaier.

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That model! She looks like she might eat a decent meal at least once a day! Eek!