Now this is what you call a comeback. Just six month after giving birth to daughter Ioni James Conran, Coco Rocha returned to doing what she does best—owning the runway at the first New York Fashion Week show of the season. "It feels great to be back," she tells InStyle. "It doesn't feel any different except that there's a baby that everyone ooohs and aaahs over now." But this doesn't mark any ordinary return—the radiant new mom-slash-supermodel closed the Zac Zac Posen spring/summer 2016 show (hand-in-hand with the designer) in a dress that lit up the entire space. Literally.
The black nylon mesh dress, the product of a fashion-meets-tech partnership with Google, was embedded with programmable LED lights (more than 500, in fact) that were coded by teen girls across the nation through the site Made with Code, a one-year-old program with the goal to inspire the next generation of female coders.
"Based on a lot of research we've done, we realized that less than one percent of girls aren't interested in computer science, because it doesn't align with their existing dreams and interests," says Jackie Lau, marketing manager at Google. "Fashion is something teen girls are interested in, and our technologist Maddy Maxey worked with Zac to take the girls' designs and integrate them into the LED dress."
It was a collaboration that captured Posen's design aesthetic while bringing technology in fashion to life. "Made with Code promotes the next generation of young ladies in technology, and it's a huge honor to work with them. I'm all about promoting creativity, "Posen says, pointing out that the dress looks like downtown Los Angeles at night. "This is a movable, wearable art installation. It's the future of fashion."
And Rocha, a seasoned model, confessed she's never worn anything like it before. "I've had dresses that light up and they have huge battery packs, but this one can be on its own for up to three hours—I haven't been plugged into anything," she laughs."I assumed it was going to be heavy, like wearing tech, but it's really light, really fluid.