3D Printed Dresses


In a world of efficient 3D printing and recycling we might experience much, much faster turnaround in our material culture than we are able to easily conceive of today. The most radical change in daily life might be associated with fashion and clothing. The possibilities for 3D printing are already covering a wide range of industries, from the use of 3D printing in the creation of props and costumes used in films to car components. However, 3D printers are also used in fashion since 2010 when designer Iris van Herpen, started showing 3D printed pieces in her “Crystallization” show during Amsterdam Fashion week. And that was only the begging of it, as what seemed then a distant future is happening and developing rapidly today. 

For most fashion designers, 3D printing opens up a world of possibilities with faster prototyping, lower costs and literally technology-integrated design. One of the fashion-designers who stepped rapidly into the future is Dutch fashion designer,

Anouk Wipprecht, who created a 3D dress that some would describe as “wearable art”.


If we would imagine a situation where the world is already unimpressed by the 3D printing phenomenon and craving already for something new, this dress would still have to give you that extra bit of special that you need. The dress comes with a camera on the front that can capture a picture whenever the subject feel most relaxed or most tense so she can later track what was making her feel that way. Anouk had also enhanced the Cirque du Soleil experience with a series of 3D designs, the show being dominated by out-of-this-world aesthetics. Lady Gaga is one of the already well known celebrities, who embraced the 3D clothing generation. Not so unexpected, as after all, this is thewoman who has worn the most nonconformist, outrageous and avant guard fashions. Dubbed “The Parametric Sculpture Dress”, it was a result of a collaboration of Studio XO with TechHaus, the technical division of Lady Gaga’s behind the scenes production company Haus of Gaga, and was 3D printed by Materialise using a mammoth SLA machine. According to Materialise, the inspiration for the dress came from “Gaga-Koon’s collaboration and the sculptures specially commissioned by Lady Gaga for the ARTPOP album artwork which were also debuted at the spectacular ArtRave.”

Another name that has resonance in the 3D printed couture industry is the architect Francis Bittonti, the creator of the first fully articulated dressed produced with a 3D printer and worn by Dita Von Teese. But what is more interesting about Bittonti is his view on the luxury market, saying that mass production will render exclusively jobless as “there is no limit to what this technology can do. Every other sector – music, our social lives, films – has been subjected to technology. From where I started, I’m shocked by how far the software has come in the last year. So long as we keep educating, we can get there.”


To conclude with, if the experts are right, soon enough you’ll have a 3D printer in your home and simply download the blueprints for anything you need, such as broken washing-machine part, a new arm for your Barbie doll or a dress button. However, 3D printing won’t improve manufacturing, it will replace it!


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