As celebrities and fashion designers filed into the New York City-based Metropolitan Museum of Art for the 2016 Met Gala, many fashion critics and fans began debating the best and worst dressed attendees of the extravagant evening. We’ve covered the impact of 3D printing and technology on this year’s Met Gala on a couple of occasions already, but most of these high-end red carpet fashion pieces paled in comparison to some of the garments displayed at this year’s actual exhibit, which is called “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” The exhibition, which just opened up to the public on May 5, features a vast collection of technologically-driven fashion designs, many of which involve 3D printing technology in a multitude of ways.
Curated by Andrew Bolton, the museum exhibit explores the relationship between creating fashion by hand and and by machine, showing how both traditional and technological methods can be combined to create unique fashion statements. One designer who will be featured in “Manus x Machina” is Noa Raviv, who will be displaying her “Hard Copy” collection. In order to produce her collection of dresses, Raviv utilized Stratasys’ multi-material 3D printing technology, creating unique and eye-catching black-and-white dresses. Raviv is a womenswear designer from Tel Aviv, currently based in New York City, and her main focus generally revolves around the tension between harmony and chaos.
Working with Stratasys, Raviv utilized their Objet500 Connex3 Color Multi-material 3D printer, which allowed the fashion designer to actualize her vision of non-symmetrical distorted shapes and grid patterns. Raviv used a rigid combination of white and black materials, which were then sewn together with laser-cut 2D fabric after being printed, creating a collection of dresses that also serve as an optical illusion. Stratasys’ 3D printing technology has essentially allowed Raviv the freedom to combine hand-made and machine-made elements, showcasing the extent that 3D printing can be used within the fashion industry.
“The technological capabilities of 3D printing open new doors to areas of design previously not possible with hand-crafted fashion,” says Raviv. “Through my collection I’ve been able to explore the tension between the real and the virtual, between 2D and 3D, and this inspired me to create imperfect digital images and distorted grid patterns that are impossible to produce using conventional methods.”
Last year, we had discovered that 3D printing would play a heavy role in this newly opened exhibit, but now that the doors have finally been opened, we can truly see just how much impact 3D printing technology has on “Manus x Machina.” Not only was Raviv able to actualize her vision, Stratasys has also reached a new level of potential with this collaboration, which proved the value that their multi-material printing technology could have on fashion, art, and beyond. Back in March 2016, we reported on Stratasys’ collaboration with the fashion initiative ThreeASFOUR, using their Connex3 and newly developed Nano Enhanced Elastomeric Technology material to create two 3D printed dresses for New York Fashion Week.
The MET’s new technologically-driven display, which is acting as the Costume Institute’s Spring 2016 exhibition, will be showcased in the MET’s Robert Lehman Wing on the ground and first floors. Raviv’s 3D printed dresses will be among a number of other unbelievable fashion pieces, most of which feature complex designs that would be impossible without technologies like 3D printing. The “Manus x Machina” exhibition started on May 5, and will be open up until August 14. As a New York City resident and 3D printing enthusiast, I’m certainly looking forward to attending the Met as soon as I can to catch Raviv’s intriguing and forward-thinking fashion collection in person. Discuss further in the Raviv 3D Printed Dresses forum over at 3DPB.com.