Designer hopes to plug into intelligent fashion

BUENOS AIRES Thu Oct 2, 2008 7:09pm EDT

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BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Tired of running out of batteries and having to find a socket to charge your cell phone or iPod? An Argentine fashion designer may have the answer: a timeless jacket with a built-in solar panel.

Julieta Gayoso's line of "intelligent" clothing acknowledges technology's constant presence in the modern world and the annoyance caused by dead batteries.

"Today, technology is more and more mobile. It has the freedom of wireless connection, but when batteries run out you have to plug into the grid. So this is a way to have mobile energy and, of course, it's clean," Gayoso, 36, told Reuters Television earlier this week.

Enter Gayoso's innovative solar-panel jacket. A cable runs from the panel to a battery in the inside pocket where up to eight electronic devices can be recharged at the same time whenever there is sunshine.

That's not all Gayoso has come up with. Her Indarra.dtx (www.indarradtx.com) clothing line includes pants and jackets with wireless control devices that let users skip songs or pump up the volume with their MP3 players stowed safely at the bottom of a backpack.

It may sound gimmicky, but her clothes are not futuristic catwalk creations. They are deliberately classic in style -- utilitarian garments built to be worn over time.

"We're focusing on products that are not seasonal, that can be used during the winter, during the summer," she said. "It's a classic style. The pants aren't too tight or baggy, but made so you want to wear them for years."

Gayoso started the project in late 2006 and launched the first line of clothing earlier this year.

She is now working on a second collection and hopes to export next year.

(Writing by Brian Hagenbuch)

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