Fashion may be undergoing a new revolution which means the end of sewing, seaming and patterns. New technology means the designers can dream something up on a computer screen and print a complete 3D outfit in hours. More than just printing clothes without seams, the clothes will be exactly to measurement and printed on demand.
These last two points could change retails, ready-made fashion forever and make fast fashion faster than ever. Sweatshops would be obsolete and possibly it means the end of us fitting into store sizes- we can just type in our measurements and print out the outfit. Don’t like it? Made a typing error? You can re-print.
As far as fashion goes 3D digital fashion goes right now, we can copy most synthetic textiles, including those that impersonate natural fabrics well. The technology can output the imagination and coding of complex geometry needed to create the likes of beading and embroidery.
Will it mean more synthetic clothes going onto big waste piles, or will we be smart enough to recycle the plastic, like we do with paper printers?
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly
It has already been taken up by a handful of haute couture designers such as Iris Van Herpen (although these outfits can’t be called ’haute couture’ as they do not follow the French Cultural Ministries’ definitions of hand-sown and fitted on a human model a certain number of time).
One problem for high-end designers is that the work needs to be exquisite even though it’s be avant garde. The examples of Van Herpen 3D designs included in her 2013 “Voltage” run way show in Paris… decide for yourself …..
A close up look at Van Herpans 3D materials looks like cheap plastic and reminds me of tumors. I can’t imagine she’d ask any one to hand bead this and that if she had, she would have looked at it long enough to know it was not attractive.
I wonder if Van Herpen got so caught up in the dazzling technology, that she didn’t use her eyes and instincts as she would with one of her pieces that required months of hand stitching and checking. Will designing on computers change designers tastes and moods? Will we dress like the Jetsons?
Below is some of the 3D designed shoes she used in her Paris runaway show and an interview with the designer.
So much potential and so many dilemmas. I’d like designers and the public to start talking about the parameters and ethics, before this new fast world of fashion is dumped on us without thought. I’d love to know what you think.