Do you recall Steven Spielberg’s Back to the Future movies? Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd were the leads in a brilliant science fiction film where, in the second installment, they had to travel through time to 2015 where cars flew and the fashion choices people made were somewhat…let’s just say interesting. Some trends were pretty cool, sneakers that tied themselves up (we all need those, what’s the hold up science?) and jackets whose sleeves could change to the wearer’s arm length.
Well 2015 is here and unique materials, technology and 3D printing could dramatically change the future of fashion. Picture this, you walk into a store and the salesperson takes a 3D scan of your body then uses it to design clothing that can be printed especially for you. This, friends, is the future of fashion. In addition to tailoring a garment to a person’s exact body type, 3D printers let designers push the materials possibilities beyond fabric and thread.
The last few years have been very exciting in fashion design. Very many top designers have embraced 3D printing in fashion; Dutch designer Iris van Herpen is famous for her 3D printed dresses, becoming a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in 2011 after showing her Escapism collection. In her recent Autumn/Winter 2015 ready-to-wear show, named Hacking Infinity, her use of 3D printing surfaced in the shoes.
Bradley Rothenberg thrilled us with his 3D creations for the 2013 Victoria’s Secret show , remember the wings in that one? Gorgeous! Last year at New York Fashion Week, he débuted his collaboration with Katie Gallagher and Katya Leonovich, a series of beautiful wearable 3D printed textiles.
In April 2015, MecklerMedia Corporation and its sponsor Materialise hosted the inaugural 3D Print Fashion Show, as part of the 3D Print Design Show and 3D Print Week NY, in New York City. 3D print fashion designer Melinda Looi unveiled her second 3D collection in collaboration with the fashion show’s sponsor. Her second collection featured the world’s first full-length evening gown, 3D-printed as a single part flexible enough to slink and vamp with a woman’s body.
In May we saw the launch of a Kickstarter campaign by Electroloom – the world’s first fabric 3D printer. June 15th found them having successfully raised the US $ 82,344. I’m very excited, I would love a 3D printed bra. Fact(ish) : 80 to 85 percent of all women are currently wearing the wrong size bra. Wearing a bra with a wrong size could lead to neck, back and shoulder pain. The problem, however, is that there are not a lot of possible sizes to be chosen from. Another thing is more often than not, the sales people are clueless about sizing. Well, 3D printing could change this problem in a snap (Ha! Pun intended) by enabling women to go for personalized, tailored bras. Remember the Freedom of Panties protest in Russia in 2014? I bet the problems that came with a ban on the use of synthetic lace in underwear manufacturing in Russia must have found a solution in 3D printing.
It will be exciting to see the effect 3D printing has on ready-to wear, haute couture and mainstream manufacturing. Think of the possibilities! From shoes to home accessories and jewelry, I’m giddy thinking of the different size, color, fabric and design options. Someday, our grandchildren won’t bother to go to the store. Just stand in the body scanner thingamajig, select a preferred style, print, wear the gorgeous outfit that fits like a glove and bounce out the door to the flying car! What do you think?