3D printing is providing fashion designers with a range of tools they previously could’ve only dreamt of. Projects like Sharecloth are changing the industry. Enter Alexis Walsh and Justin Hattendorf, collaborating together to merge digital simulation, 3D printing and traditional craft.
Walsh has long been experimenting with 3D printing, allowing her to explore her interests in unique wearable designs with rigid structural forms. She and Hattendorf both worked together to develop a new app that helped develop the digital models. However, the app was never meant to do all the work, instead provide a basis for traditional handwork. The app generated complex, precise digital models which they could then add to with intuitive artisanal methods.
Once the basis hardware is complete, the designers manually attach brass threads onto the garments. They designed the studs in keeping with the garments’ flattened tailoring patterns. Walsh came up with a bunch of different clothing items including a coat, a vest, pants and a dress.
The spiked studs further complement the curvature of the pants. The diamond forms on the dress guide the fabric draping and the shoulders makes use of additional hardware to enhance the structure and aesthetics. The coat uses dense, fractured elements to ergonomically drape along the body. The clutch bag hardware acts as a handle for the wearer to grasp the bag.
The Apex Series is very reminiscent of reptile skin due to the many tiny tips and plates on display.
The 3D Fashion Show
Walsh debuted her new threads at the Platform Fashion x Lexus 3D Fashion runway show presented by Lexus Germany in Dusseldorf, Germany. The show was dedicated to the fashion possibilities of additive manufacturing technology. While Alexis Walsh showed of the possibilities of craft and simulation, other members also had novel concepts to introduce.
Similarly, Maartje Dijkstra from the Netherlands focused on technology as the main theme in her clothing line. Her wild designs and costumes blend together high fashion and sci-fi sensibilities. Meanwhile, Heidi Lee specialises in some pretty crazy headgear. Her work has been on display with artists such as Lady Gaga and Madonna. For her most famous work, “The Endless Echo Hat”, the artist reproduced her face with the help of a 3D printer.
3D printing was on full display at the event. It’s fascinating to see all the ways many artists were implementing the technology and putting their own spin on it. The fashion show became a platform for future technologies and presented 3D printing in a more practical light. While adoption in the wider world of clothing is still far away, high-concept fashion certainly seems to be having fun with additive manufacturing.
Featured images courtesy of Alexis Walsh, photograph by Heather Leigh Cullum.