Marina Hansen Senior Project Spring 2010

Sweet µN Glow Captivating Rave Apparel

People pay big money to stand out. In modern day life, it is normal for people to shower themselves with miscellaneous luxuries such as getting their hair and nails done, going tanning, getting tattoos and piercings, buying designer clothing, and purchasing expensive gadgets and vehicles. Since this is such a normal thing to do, people don¶t mind spending extra money to add a little fun into what they wear or where they are going. In our American society, we have been taught to think that more is better so there for we end up spending our money on just about anything and everything. With that being said there are many things that people like to spend money on, one very popular thing being raves. From organizing the event, to getting all of the lighting and sound equipment, and hiring the musical talent, there is a vast amount of money that goes into rave production. Raves are not small events either, which means that they are a lot of hard work. When there is work involved this means there is a lot of money being spent, and if people are spending money on rave production, there is definitely people spending money to go to raves. Since people do like to look flashy, and raves are a place for neon clothing and flashing lights, there is definitely a substantial amount of money that goes into rave clothing. Whether it is people making these statement pieces themselves, ordering them online, or purchasing them at said


location of the rave, there are always people out there looking for some attention grabbing apparel. Fashion has always been a very popular thing. People are very much into the latest fashion treads and what is "in" and "out" for the season. These different seasons are what determine what styles are prevalent or in for the specific season. What's in and what's out is constantly changing, with the exception of more classic, standard items that are good no matter the season. Fashion doesn't stop at everyday wear, as we all know. There is every day wear, evening wear, party wear, and much more. Fashion is popular for everyone and every occasion. With that being said, since raves are such a very popular outlet for people, they not only spend money to go to the event that they will be attending, but they also spend money on what they will be wearing. Rave apparel is a very popular and necessary thing because people express themselves through what they wear. Although it is important to keep in mind that clothing should be comfortable and functional while still embodying some personal flavor. Being comfortable at an event like a rave is important because there are a lot of people in the surrounding areas and a lot of dancing, which causes people to be hot and uncomfortable usually. This is why some of the more popular things to wear at these events are skirts, shorts, bathing suits, stockings, and anything else that is breathable and relatively comfortable. There are no limitations on what to wear by any means though, but it is fun to spice things up, especially with fun accessories like light gloves, which are LED lit gloves that can give an impressive light show, orbits, which are a bundle of micro lights that are usually attached on a string so that they can be swung in the air to make cool shapes and designs with the lights, light up pacifiers, which are


pacifiers that have LED lights inside of them that make them glow and flash, and glow sticks, which are pretty self explanatory. These are fun and popular accessories because of how bright they are and the cool things you can accomplish with them. For example, when looking for rave apparel I stumbled upon this suit that someone had attached glow sticks to so that when they were in the dark it looked as though they were a robot or they were from some kind of game, it was very impressive. Throughout the world, there are copious amounts of money that go into the party industry every year. It is a popular market for people, because as we are all very aware of, there is always something to celebrate every year whether it is a birthday party, a wedding, New Years, the 4th of July, you name it, people are throwing their money at it. We also know that organizing a celebration, event, or party is some serious business, which is why there are people who specialize in event planning, catering, event coordination, musical talent, merchandise buying, and some other jobs that really help out with things. But at a cost. Since there is a huge market in the party industry, it is always evolving due to new entertainment and technology. For example, when people have a DJ at a party or they have a blow up castle or movie screen for a birthday party they are contributing in keeping the entertainment industry afloat because although they are small things, it is all the small things that make up a big party and because of this, people are always finding new ways to spend money on having fun. Some very standard questions that people ask about raves are, ³What is raving?´, ³How did it get started?´, and ³Why is it so popular?´ Raves are dance events or parties that involve fast-paced music, such as techno, house, trance, or electronica, and light shows that usually take place in vacant warehouse, lofts, or clubs. Raving


became popular in the 80¶s in the United Kingdom when dance music was emerging and dance music clubs were being legalized. This is not when raving started, but it is when it became more official and widely known. Before the 80¶s, you just heard about raves through word of ear. Raving started to become known in the US in the 80¶s as well because DJ¶s that would visit Europe would witness these events and wanted to bring them back to America. Once the idea of raves was brought to the US all it took was magazines to spread interest from coast to coast. By the 90¶s raving was popular among all of America. By 1991 raves had exploded across Northern California, making rave history by being a huge turning point in the progression. Underground raves became popular in San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Silicon Valley, Santa Clara, and Sacramento. Now raving is a popular thing all around the world and raves are not small events. For example, DJ Tiesto is a very famous DJ and he has had shows with as many as 250,000 people attending, his shows aren¶t exactly raves but its because they are concerts but all the same things are applied. Raving did become popular for a few very notable reasons though, some more obvious than others. For one, people like going to social events, especially events where they can be surrounded by people that they share a common interest with. Another reason why people like it is because raving is sort of its own culture. It is like its own culture in the way that it is very diverse, raving isn¶t exclusive to a certain type or group of people. Raves are for all genders, races, and sexual orientations. It is open to anyone and everyone that wants to enjoy the beat the DJ is dropping on the dance floor. There is an acronym in rave culture called PLUR, which are a few common principles that people usually go by if the attend raves. PLUR stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. Peace, to make


peace with all of the people and the surroundings. Love, to stay close to people and care for them. Unity, to stand together for peace and love. Respect, to understand the diversities of culture. Raving is more than just the party scene, it¶s about making connections with people through the music and the atmosphere. Which brings me to the obvious reasons why raving is so popular. And that is because people love music and they love dancing to music. Everybody likes to get out there and dance and what better way to do it. Ravers are usually referred and compared to hippies due to their appreciation for music, interest in non-violence, non-traditional art forms, and progressive ideas. Some of the hippie name comes from the fact to some of the people that attend raves are under the influence of some kind of drug. That kind of behavior sparks conflict within the law, because as we know drugs are illegal. So more recently raves have been hiring local law enforcement to try and help reduce drug use to make a safer environment for everyone. The people that do not agree with law enforcement resort to the old school word of ear and take the risk of getting into some serious trouble. Because of that more recently, primarily in Europe, people who are involved in the electronic dance community have been referring to themselves as ³clubbers´ instead of ³raver´. Another part of rave culture is the light and lightshows. At raves people have light accessories that they can give lightshows with. The point of lights shows with accessories are to show the different techniques people have and creation of a visually appealing and mesmerizing compilation of designs and patterns. Our company name is Sweet 'N Glow, the name was developed because in the rave community, glowing accessories are called ³glow candy´. Sweet µN Glow is a rave apparel company and what we have produced is a compilation of LED lit gloves, called


phalange candy, and LED lit tutus, called hip candy, that are meant to be worn at raves or parties. They also have many other uses. Particularly the gloves, because since there are 4 extremely bright LED lights in each glove it makes it easier to see sings which make it easy to work in hard to reach places and dark areas. With that being said, our product is mainly aimed toward ravers and partiers because these are not pieces people would generally just walk around town with, they are best fit for dark environments where they can be appreciated to their full potential. The pair of products are a fun way to spice up what someone is wearing out to one of these events. The LED lit gloves were not an original idea, but we made it our own by having a single on and off switch as opposed to regular rave gloves that can be purchased online that have to have each individual light turned on and off. We thought that was a tedious couple of steps that could be eliminated so we decided that it would be in our best interest to make them with a single on and off switch because that would make rave gloves better in our opinion.


The gloves, phalange candy, were made with LED lights, wire, solder, on and off switch, batteries, and gloves. The lights we used for our gloves were originally individual finger lights that came in a four pack that can be put onto fingertips with velcro. We didn¶t want the casing that the light came in so we disassembled each light. That might sound like it was useless to purchase them in the first place but it was actually in our favor to purchase the lights that way because they were less expensive then individual LED lights. The gloves were constructed by wiring each light in series with one another to one on and off switch and an energy source (battery). A series circuit is an electrical circuit connected so that the current passes through each of the circuit elements without branching off. Whereas, with a parallel circuit the current from the energy source divides into two or more paths before reconnecting to complete the circuit. Wiring the gloves in series has its advantages and disadvantages. By wiring them in series means that the voltage of each light has to be added up and the energy source has to


match up to the total amount because the circuit will not turn on if there is not enough voltage or it will overload and burn out the lights if there is too much. For example, each LED light is 4.5 volts, and there are 4 lights in each glove. So 4.5 x 4= 18 which means each glove needs the equivalent of 18 volts. Basically what this means is more batteries for a small area. The advantage to this is that the batteries will last a lot longer than if we had wired our product in a parallel circuit, and our lights will be brighter. In the figures shown, Figure 1 shows an example of a series circuit and Figure 2 shows an example of a parallel circuit. After creating a circuit in series, the complete circuit was placed into a cotton glove and another glove was placed inside of the glove to eliminate the tangling of wire that could possibly occur by the consumer¶s hands. The gloves were then sewn together to avoid the gloves from separating from one another because if we didn¶t the complete circuit within the glove might come out. The skirts, hip candy, were made with tutus, tulle, and LED lights. We purchased a tutu instead of making one because it was more cost effective to purchase them already made than to make them on our own. Also by purchasing them they look more professional and aesthetically pleasing. Extra tulle was then purchased, tulle is the fabric that tutus are made out of, so that we would be able to add onto the tutus we purchased. We then purchased an 11 foot strand of LED lights, called galactic wire, and we strung the lights throughout the skirt by taking the extra tulle and making a loop with this tulle so it would hold the lights. Then we sewed each layer of tulle with light into the tutu. The light up tutu was somewhat of an original idea. We have never actually witnessed anything like we are making in any kind of store or website. The first we heard of anything similar was from out teacher, where the idea originated for our


product. We have seen tutus and we have seen LED lights but we have never actually seen the two put together until we developed out product. So what are LED lights and how do they work? LEDs are the common name for light emitting diodes. LEDs are used in so much of what is purchased anything from alarm clocks to television screens. In things that are purchased on a regular day basis that have LEDs, the colors of the LEDs vary because LEDs come in a variety of colors. Some of the more common colors are blue, red, yellow, green, and white and out of all of those colors white is the most difficult to create. This is because it is not currently possible to mass produce white LEDs. For example, LEDs that are in flashlights are not actually white, they are actually a whitish-blue. LEDs are tiny light bulbs, which unlike the ordinary incandescent light bulb, don¶t have a filament that will burn out. Since these lights don¶t have a filament it also eliminates heat that is usually produced by your stand light bulb. LEDs are illuminated by the movement of electrons in a semiconductor material. Semiconductor material is


what LEDs are made out of. A semiconductor material is material that has an electrical conductivity between a conductor and an insulator. Semiconductors are generally made out of silicon for commercial products solely because the ability to conduct with silicon can be drastically changed if other elements are added. These other elements are called impurities. The components of an LED light are a whisker that is connected to an anode, an anvil which is connected to a cathode, a lens to illuminate the light, and plastic to protect the LED. Figure 3 shows the anatomy of an LED light. Cathodes and anodes are electrodes that electrical current flow into a polarized electrical device. A couple of reasons why LEDs are such great lights are they are very efficient in the fact that they are very bright and require very little current to illuminate, they use most if not all electricity to illuminate whereas in a traditional light bulb where electricity is not wasted in the light but it is wasted in heat, they are virtually indestructible, and they are affordable to mass produced. We decided to make these products because it is very hard to find this kind of clothing anywhere. You either have to purchase online, which a lot of people don¶t trust, or you have to find stores that sell. That is hard because most rave apparel companies are underground. But another reason we wanted to make these was because we saw someone who had a pair of light gloves and we received a light show from them and we were blown away by how amazing they were. Also, being that we are teenagers, it is something that really caught our attention and interest. They are very entertaining, and they are definitely a party starter. We thought it was a wonderful idea to make these considering the fact that raves are most popular with people of the ages from 18-23. We decided to make the skirts because our teacher told us about a ballet he had gone to


where he had seen something similar, so he helped give us that idea and we decided we would try it out and make it better. We also wanted to make it easier for people to purchase these items at an affordable price and manage them easily. You can find LED light gloves online anywhere from $50-$100. Another reason why we wanted to make these items was because we wanted to express our interest about raves and share it with our peers to kind of promote these events. We think by expressing interest it will get them excited about not only raves but our products and if people are interested in our products they will express interest in actually buying our products, because we do feel as though what we are making can be sold. They are fun, functional, and exciting pieces that anyone can enjoy, doesn¶t even have to at a rave, it could be in a dark room within a household and it would still be fun. The whole process of this was quite interesting. We started our project out with a lot of good ideas that we weren¶t sure if we could execute or not due to funding and also due to just personal capabilities, but we decided that making these products were well within our means. So we began researching, and all of our researching took a lot longer than we had expected just because we wanted to be very sure about what we needed and if it was the right thing to use. We hit a couple of minor speed bumps during the way due to a little bit of miscommunication within the group here and there and due to ordering our materials a little on the late side because we took a long time to decide and make sure what we need. But as we got further into the development of our products we got really excited which was fun because it is nice to be so happy something we are producing. I don¶t think I have ever liked a school project more than this one because this is open to anything that the individual wants to produce which makes it so they


pump out something that they worked hard and became very proud of what they were producing. All in all, I think we have invested a good amount of our time into our product and I feel as though we are very much proud of the outcome, as we should be. I don¶t think we wasted our time with this project because it is something that we are actually interested in. It is also something that we fully intend to use. It won¶t be something that just sits on a shelf in a house collecting dust. I know we will use these products until they are near gone because we are so excited about them. What we are making may be looked at as toys in some people¶s eyes, but really what we are looking to do is enhance clothing and how it works. If we were able to expand more with other clothing such as t-shirts and other kinds of accessories we would have jumped at it but due to our funds we were not able to do such a thing. We feel as a group if our product were to be put in stores that they would sell. We feel this way because people are interested in the little things that make bigger things fun. Everybody wants the package deal, they want the experience, they want the memorabilia, and they want the memory. By purchasing our products we know that our customers would have all of those things. Like stated before, our products can be used for much more than just rave apparel. They can be used as tools and actually be a useful device to have. This makes our products virtually good for anyone that is interested in raving or interested in having a legitimate new tool.