At the 72nd Miss Universe pageant, a 3D printed dress designed by South African Gert-Johan Coetzee captivated the audience. The dress, worn by R’Bonney Gabriel during her final walk as reigning Miss Universe, exemplifies the fusion of advanced manufacturing techniques with haute couture. It required 530 hours to create, incorporating over 3000 Swarovski crystals into its futuristic blue design.
This garment symbolizes the intersection of technology and fashion, where traditional design principles meet modern day digital manufacturing. Coetzee’s creation embodies themes of strength, femininity, and futurism, aimed at women who are viewed as community custodians. His studio emphasized that the dress celebrates the resilience and commitment of women who lead and inspire in their communities.
Coetzee’s influence extends beyond this single event. He has dressed finalists in the Miss South Africa pageant and showcased his designs on international runways, including Paris and at The Little Mermaid movie premiere. His work continually challenges and reshapes perceptions of South African fashion on the global stage.
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