3D printing continues to inspire fashion designers by challenging the boundaries of modern design and offering them new ways of thinking. Stratasys has been involved in numerous collaborative fashion projects with some of most well-known innovative designers including Neri Oxman, threeasFour, Iris Van Herpen and Julia Koerner and the avant-garde 3D printed fashion pieces have featured at various Paris and New York Fashion Weeks and catwalks.
June 14th 2018 saw the opening of Fashion Statements, a new exhibition at the Israel Museum, which celebrates a century of dress in Israel. Two 3D printed dresses from Stratasys’ creative directed collaboration with Noa Raviv, which form part of Noa’s ‘Hard Copy’ collection, feature in the exhibition.
The 3D printed dresses debuted at London Design Week in 2014 and have also featured in the ‘Manus x Machina’ exhibition at the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) and the ‘Techstyle’ exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston.
Led by chief curator Daisy Raccah-Djivre, the Fashion Statements exhibition comprises an impressive display of clothing, fashion sketches, films and fashion photography, illustrating the broad scope of fashion in Israel – from its deepest historical roots to contemporary collections, fostering a dialogue about tradition and modernity, myth and reality, and conflicting ideologies.
Visitors will be taken on a journey from the late 19th-century indigenous pre-Zionist ‘fashion’, to the opposing forces of Europeanism and Orientalism that converged in the early decades of the state, while finally evolving to the place that Israeli creativity holds on the global fashion scene today.
Noa Raviv’s ‘Hard Copy’ dresses feature a series of 3D printed black-and-white pieces and hand sewn on ruffled fabrics and grid-like patterns. These voluminous shapes were produced using Stratasys Connex Color, Multi-material 3D printing technology, allowing Noa Raviv to perfectly realize her vision of non-symmetrical distorted grid patterns and shapes. Using combinations of black and white rigid materials, the 3D futuristic shapes were sown together with 2D laser cut fabric, creating an optical illusion of 2D and 3D elements, cleverly alluding to the tension between the real and the virtual.
As exemplified by the exhibition, the role of 3D printing in fashion is continually evolving, and we are seeing a notable increase in awareness and interest in the technology from designers. Stratasys works with leading fashion companies to explore new ways of approaching design, traditionally thought unattainable, and supports designers to discover uncharted grounds in contemporary fashion that can be realized with 3D printing.
This year, the Stratasys Art, Design and Fashion team have been focused on developing a new technique: 3D printing directly onto textiles.
“The aspiration of the team is to uncover how 3D printing can actually work in harmony with textiles and to discover how, in the future, it will be able to replace the textile itself in some cases,” explains Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director of Art Design and Fashion at Stratasys. “By combining traditional textile materials with digitally-created 3D printing materials, the gap between the two techniques is being bridged, enabling a faster integration of the technology in textile design”.
With great support from R&D, led by Stratasys' Innovative Solutions Expert, Boris Belocon, this year marked the first time that 3D printing with textiles has been achieved using Stratasys’ high-resolution PolyJet 3D printing technology – representing an interesting breakthrough for the industry.
An inspiring example of this can be seen in Iris Van Herpen’s latest haute couture collection “Ludi Nature”. The foliage dress incorporates traditional textiles with 3D printed plastic elements utilizing Stratasys PolyJet 3D printing technology. Three variations of the 3D printing material were altered on a droplet level, achieving the unique color and transparency on the dress which allows it to seamlessly fuse with the fabric material.
Material developments are another key element to accelerating the adoption of 3D printing technology within fashion design. Digitally-created materials are offering up vast possibilities as every element of a garment or textile can now have its own individual digitally manipulated physical properties. For example, we can create a specific textile that is waterproof, opaque, flexible or rigid and then combine these elements together enabling all of these properties to be present in a single garment.
Further to collaborative work with acclaimed fashion designers, Stratasys is dedicated to opening up design possibilities for the next generation of designers. As such, Stratasys proudly supports graduation projects in the fashion domain, educating students on the benefits of 3D printing technologies and encouraging them to explore new design solutions. Some of these student projects will be on display at the Fashion Statements exhibition, later on in the year.
“As advances in 3D printing are continually being discovered –in terms of materials, aesthetics and colors –the diversity of fashion design applications is constantly evolving,” comments Naomi. “It will certainly be fascinating to witness the evolving impact of 3D printing on the fashion domain and see how it continues to challenge and transform our perception of fashion.”
If you would like the opportunity to see Stratasys fashion items today, the Fashion Statements exhibition is running at the Israel Museum from June 14th2018 - January 2019. For further information on fashion projects visit the Stratasys Art, Design and Fashion website.