What 3D Printing Means For Fashion

Docked as nothing short of an industrial revolution, 3D printing has taken the world by storm. Specifically aiding advances in material science, digital design and industrial production, the ground-breaking practice increases productivity, ensures efficiency and promotes innovation. In recent years, there has been some interesting advancements in fashion, with the impact of 3D design on the industry becoming apparent. Here, we look at some 3D designs that might just shape the future of fashion.

Iris Van Herpen
Dutch designer, Iris Van Herpen, is at the forefront of 3D printing and used the technique to send the first 3D printed collection down the runway. Collaborating with New York company and artist Daniel Widrig, the team came together to create the SS10 collection, with the designs inspired by the transformation of liquid into crystals. Van Herpen has continued to use 3D printing technology in her most recent collections, including her SS18 collection at Paris Fashion week; a 21-pieced intricate collection featuring advanced digital technologies such as laser-cutting, parametric design, and 3D printing.

Kering-owned Balenciaga is known for its impeccable, traditional tailoring and to optimise the fit of their jackets, creative director Demna Gvasalia digitally tailored his AW18 collection using the help of 3D scans of the models’ bodies. This resulted in only two seams on the jacket; at the side and under the arms. We’ll be looking forward to see if Gvasalia revisits this technique in his SS19 collection for Balenciaga in Paris.

Danit Peleg
Israeli designer Danit Peleg was the brains behind Amy Purdy’s dress worn for her dance routine with a robot at the 2016 Paralympic Opening Ceremony. Inspired by Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus, the dress was printed using a flexible, flesh-coloured filament called FilaFlex. Using an elastomer base, Peleg could create a dress that would allow for various dance moves. Peleg has been using 3D mesh systems since her 2015 graduate collection to try and tackle the different forms of the body.

Studio Bitonti
Known for their advances in 3D printing, Studio Bitonti was the company behind the printing and designing of Dita Von Tesse’s 2013 printed gowns. Now shifting their focus to “a lab for emerging design methodologies, cutting edge materials, and fabrication research”, the studio provides clients in fashion and other areas with innovative technologies that enable them to work on a variety of products and processes.

With the rise of this technique clearly apparent, manufactures and designers will embrace 3D printing as part of an evolving fashion world that allows them to be creative with new materials and designs; albeit a method that Haute Couture will forever close its doors to. However, the 3D printing of fast fashion and ready to wear holds massive potential for innovative business models and consumption patterns for brands. Although still in its infancy, domesticating the technique would create competition and innovation like nothing else the industry has ever seen before.