New York-based fashion collective threeASFOUR has been at the forefront of 3D printing in fashion since they first integrated the technology into their designs in 2013, making stunning and unique dresses only possible with additive manufacturing. Now, with the unveiling of their Fall/Winter 2016 Runway Show, the design trio is again demonstrating what amazing things can be created when 3D printing technologies and fashion are used in tandem.
The runway show took place February 15th at Milk Studios as part of New York Fashion Week and featured two 3D printed dresses, the Pangolin and the Harmonograph, which themselves are part of threeASFOUR’s buzzed about collection ‘Biomimicry’. The 3D printed dresses were made in collaboration with 3D printing company Stratasys, which supplied the necessary technology to design and create the defining pieces, and fashion designer Travis Fitch.
Though the collection was entirely black, both the Pangolin and Harmonograph dresses were made using Stratasys’ Objet500 Connex3 3D printer, the world’s first multi-color, multi-material 3D printing technology. The Objet500 Connex3 allowed for the dresses to be made from subtle colour variations as well as materials of different flexibility and rigidity. The dresses were also made in part using Stratasys’ Nano-Enhanced Elastomeric Technology material, which will reportedly be released on the market later in 2016.
“Having the capability to vary colour and rigidity in a single piece using Stratasys’ Connex3 3D printing technology inspired us to explore flexibility, depth and transformation as inherent design objectives,” explains Adi Gil, one of the threeASFOUR’s founders. “As artists and designers, it is our prerogative – and our nature – to explore the bounds of new technological opportunities, and to push the limits of the way in which forms are created. As the most advanced 3D printed dresses that we have created to date, we are extremely excited to showcase these pieces and demonstrate the unique possibilities are unfolding at the intersection of fashion, design and technology.”
threeASFOUR, which was founded in 2005 by Gabi Asfour, Angela Donhauser, and Adi Gil, has continually pushed the limits of conventional fashion and design manufacturing processes. Just this past fall, the design trio unveiled two other 3D printed pieces, which headlined their Spring/Summer 2016 collection. Having explored various themes of human co-existence and collaboration in their previous collections, their latest reflects on and is inspired by natural geometries and biological forms. Appropriately called ‘Biomimicry’, the collection appropriates natural textures and morphologies into constructed, and additively manufactured fashion pieces.
Though inspired by natural forms, the designers note that their designs were inherently dependent on 3D printing. “Not only were the 3D printing capabilities of the Objet500 Connex3 essential in the production of the dress, but the entire design from its initial conception was intended to maximise the potentials inherent to this technology,” says Gil. “The interwoven nature of the geometry could not be produced in a traditional manner, and it was critical to us that the design should evoke a language unique to 3D printing.”
The Pangolin dress was itself inspired by various animal textures, and was based on one of the threeASFOUR’s signature dress patterns, made up of 14 pieces. The dress, as can be seen in detail in the video below, is made up of interlocking and flexible pieces, which allow for a four-dimensional stretch. The multi-material 3D printing also allowed for the designers to structure certain parts of the dress more rigidly to accommodate the wearer’s movements correctly. The Harmonograph dress, for a turn, was based on the geometry of the Fibonacci sequence and itself wraps the body in three intricately detailed spirals, appearing to possess a harmonograph effect. Both 3D printed dresses in threeASFOUR’s Biomimicry collection are undeniably striking and looked fierce as they came down the runway.
For 3D printing company Stratasys, this is not the first venture into 3D printed fashion design, as the Minneapolis, Rehovot, an Israel-based company has also collaborated with notable designers such as Iris van Herpen and Julia Koerner, as well as many other designers and architects.
As Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys says:
“We are always looking to revolutionise manufacturing methods, pioneer new design options, and inspire designers and students to create avant-garde expressions of fashion. Collaborative projects with talented and visionary designers, such as threeASFOUR, are the ideal way to showcase to aspiring designers, students and creatives the types of organic and complex mathematical structures that can become a physical reality with 3D printing. Our mission is to change the way people think about design and to redefine its possibilities.”
As fashion designers such as threeASFOUR continue to define their work through 3D printing technologies and continue to show us the growing potentials of the technology within fashion design, there is no question that this is just the beginning of a lasting relationship—3D printing could truly be the future of fashion.
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