When the terms “optical fiber” and “New York City” are used in the same sentence, images that typically come to mind are workers with hardhats, underground maintenance holes, and perhaps even riser pathways in the city’s skyscrapers. Fashion images may not immediately come to mind. But on Monday, May 2, optical fiber was on full display at the Met Gala—the annual fundraiser that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.
That evening, actress Claire Danes donned a dress made of optical fiber that impressed the assembled crowd—and people around the world who saw it on social media. The fiber-optic dress did what optical fiber does; it carried light and, in doing so, glowed in the dark. As Vanity Fair’s Paul Chi reported, Danes “made a show-stopping entrance in a whimsical sky-blue ball gown created by her longtime friend Zac Posen. The one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn creation was crafted from organza and fiber optics, which allowed the dress to light up in the dark.
Some cabling professionals who have worked with fiber-optic media contend that it requires more careful handling than twisted-pair copper cabling. It appears a fiber-optic dress may be similarly demanding. Chi quoted Danes as saying, “Zac literally had a bus for me to get here, so I stood. I’m moving carefully … cautiously.”
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