Top Italian stylist Dr Alexandra Fede has made an impassioned plea for closer co-operation between scientists at the cutting edge of garment technology and the major names in the field of international haute couture.

Addressing delegates at the Avantex 2002 symposium held in Frankfurt, Dr Fede told her audience it was essential that garments which represent the latest advances in fields such as communicative clothing, should be designed, not just for technical reliability, but with an eye to their appeal to fashion conscious consumers.

And to make the purpose of such advances more immediately accessible, Dr Alexandra proposed the introduction of a vocabulary unique to the new technology sector.

She suggests E-Apparel as a generic for garments which incorporate interactive, electronic communications facilities, and M-Apparel for those which contain monitoring devices.

Dr Fede is already celebrated for coining such phrases as "stainless silk" and "anti-violence apparel" - the latter to describe protective garments like flak jackets.

By Sonia Roberts.