Alexis Walsh Shows 3D Printed Spire Dress and Lysis Collection at New York Fashion Week

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The James A. Farley Post Office Building in New York, just across the street from Penn Station, bears an oft-quoted inscription over its entrance: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Apparently, this applies not only to postal carriers, but to the well-heeled fashionistas, the dogged media, brilliant designers and the other intrepid souls who flocked to New York Fashion Week shows despite rain, snow and sub-zero temperatures (Sunday marked the coldest Valentine’s Day in New York in a century). Excessive traffic and subway train delays may have caused some shows to have a late start last week, but the shows did go on.

Unfortunately, due to a last minute schedule change, I missed seeing Alexis Walsh’s designs on the runway, but I did get to meet the talented designer backstage at Oxford Fashion Studio’s New York Collections show at Studio 450. Walsh was showing her LYSIS Collection, which debuted at the 3D Print Fashion Show at Inside 3D Printing in April, and the Spire Dress that she co-designed with partner Ross Leonardy.

Ross Leonardy and Alexis Walsh with their Spire Dress backstage at the Oxford Fashion Studio's New Collections runway show at New York Fashion Week.

Ross Leonardy and Alexis Walsh with their Spire Dress backstage at the Oxford Fashion Studio’s New Collections runway show at New York Fashion Week.

The Spire Dress is composed of over 400 individual tiles that were printed in SLS nylon by Shapeways and assembled by hand with metal ring connectors. The dress was designed in 2013 and was previously shown at 3D Printshow events around the world, including London 2014, Paris 2014, New York 2015, Madrid 2015 and Berlin 2015. Walsh was nominated for Fashion Designer of the Year at the 3DPrintshow Global Awards in 2014. The Spire Dress was featured in the first print edition of Disruptive Magazine and recently in Nire’s provocative Hopscotch music video.

Spire Dress. Photo by Jason Rowe, styled by Grace Hartnett and modeled by Loesie at Wilhelmina Models NY.

Spire Dress. Photo by Jason Rowe, styled by Grace Hartnett and modeled by Loesie at Wilhelmina Models NY.

Spire Dress. Photos by Jason Rowe, styled by Grace Hartnett and modeled by Loesie (Wilhelmina Models NY).

According to the text from 3D Printshow, “3D printed in four-hundred individual white nylon pieces, this ostentatious dress stands as the first 3D printed garment to come out of New York’s most prestigious fashion college: Parsons The New School for Design, and was the result of six months of intensive self tutoring, learning from mistakes and gradually refining specialist processes. Maintaining a strict daily schedule, the conception, development and final execution of the piece incorporated the designing of a set of algorithms using Grasshopper – and ultimately the creation of six basic units.”

Walsh was awarded the inaugural Shapeways Education Grant in 2015, which she used to create the LYSIS Collection. She created a fashion video of the LYSIS Collection, which can be seen at the end of this article. LYSIS was featured at the Interlaced 2015 runway show in London this past fall.

LYSIS Collection. Photos by Emily Elkins, modeled by Angela Olcott (APM Models), Hair/Makeup by Sophia Jose: 

“Drawing inspiration from virulent forms and deterioration, Lysis Collection consists of constructions that mimic the growth of viral structures while blending organic shapes with rigid sculptural silhouettes. Through interdisciplinary fabrication, CAD modeling and 3D printing is combined with traditional handcrafting technique,” says Walsh, “The pieces were first sketched, and then designed in the CAD program Rhino3D. The finished models were printed using Shapeways in white nylon, to be dyed and finished by hand post-production. Fabrics and leathers were then attached directly to the 3D printed components, sewn through strategic openings in the designs. Trim details were created for accessories, including a belt and choker necklace, using the 3Doodler 3D printing pen. The 3D printed components were funded through the generous award of the first ever Shapeways Education Grant.”

Alexis Walsh - Backstage

Designer Alexis Walsh backstage with models wearing her Spire Dress and LYSIS Collection.

Walsh was the recipient of Oxford Fashion Studio’s Sponsored Designer Invitation. Her designs were the closing collection of the Oxford Fashion Studio Autumn/Winter 2016 New York Fashion Week runway show. The Spire Dress was the final piece shown. She is currently working on more collaborations with Ross Leonardy; an upcoming 3D printed jewelry collection and a full 3D printed fashion collection. Walsh will be showing her designs next week at the Internet of Fashion Expo – Fashion Show Cocktail Reception during New York Market Week on February 23rd. The event is from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. If you’d like to attend you can send an RSVP to Tanya@theinternetoffashion.com.

Below are images of the Spire Dress and LYSIS collection from the Oxford Fashion Studio show, and the LYSIS fashion film:

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