Fashion and technology are ever evolving with one another, and 3D printing is taking fashion to a whole new level. With an impressive Swarovski-clad dress designed for Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese, Mulberry Award nominated shoe collections and Paris Fashion Week’s premiere of both, 3D printed fashion has a firm grip & influence on the fashion industry as we know it.
Dress to Impress
Digital designer & architect Francis Bitonti teamed up with fashion designer Michael Schmidt in order to create a fully articulated 3D printed gown, which was to be designed specifically for the Burlesque Queen herself, Dita Von Teese. “Francis [Bitonti] was able to take my sketches for the dress, which I created specifically for Dita’s body, and render those in the specialized language of the software,” Schmidt explained. Schmidt has previously designed bra & panty sets as well as accessories for Dita Von Teese, but for this occasion the majestic 3D gown was the project. The Bitonti & Schmidt creation features layered & structured capped shoulders as well as a deep v-plunge. The gown also cinches in at the waist exceedingly, showcasing Dita’s amazingly tiny waist and hourglass body shape. As for the technical side, the netted-like gown was created using the selected laser sintering method, has about 3,000 unique articulated joints and is also adorned with over 12,000 Swarovski Elements crystals. It all came together with Shapeways, the world’s leading marketplace for 3D printing, (I have actually used them before, highly recommended!), who printed the dress in 17 separate piece before it was put together by hand. Dita, the designers and Swarovski then showcased the amazing gown at the Ace Hotel party in NYC, hosted by Shapeways. It is currently touring museums around the United States.
Fashion Forward Frocks
3D printed dresses have also been seen in fashion collections by Iris van Herpen Haute Couture with dual collaborations by Julia Koerner X Materialise and Neri Oxman X Stratasys. Known for her design portfolio at Yves Saint Laurent, Jasper Conran, and Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Catherine Wales also created a 3D printed collection of fashion accessories, Project DNA.
Shoes to Shock
Janina Alleyne is a talented fashion designer from the UK, and this year she created a magnificent 3D printed shoe collection, Exoskeleton. Her collection has “drawn inspiration from architectural structure and silhouette of external skeletons” of all types of creatures. The shoes are all creamy white in colour, with two using additional leather straps. The anatomical collection features three shoes only, but each is as extraordinary as the other.
Again Haute Couture designer Iris van Herpen also collaborated with Rem D. Koolhaas X Stratasys to create 3D printed shoes, worn at the 2013 Paris Fashion Week fashion show. 12 pairs of shoes were created in black, white and nude, all with tree roots designs, which embodied the collection’s theme, Wilderness. “Iris is very dramatic with her concepts and the shapes she wanted were only possible with 3D printing – they are almost like a sculpture on your feet, mimicking nature,” says Koolhaas.
Designer Janne Kyttanen, who is creative director at 3D Systems, has created a range of 3D printed wedges for women that he claims can be made at home overnight to be worn the next day. Using the company’s CubeXprinter, Kyttanen has created a collection of wedges, available in four styles and in a variety of colours. “I would like it if my girlfriend could wear a different pair every single day. Today this is a reality. Women can print this first collection of shoes overnight and wake up every morning to a new pair,” he says.