If you were to ask me just two years ago if 3D printing and fashion would ever successfully converge, my answer would have been a very confident “NO!”. Today if you were to ask me that very same questions, I simply wouldn’t be able to provide you with an opinion. I’ve seen 3D printing and fashion go from the totally obscure in the eyes of fashionistas around the world, to becoming what you may refer to as a “breath of fresh air”, yet I still don’t know if 3D printing and fashion will ever fully come together.
If you take a look at today’s fashion trends, they seem as though they have become stale and stagnant. Fashion used to be an ever-changing art, yet today, I look at the hottest fashion wear and I merely see history repeating itself. We are simply just taking yesterday’s trends and gently modifying them into today’s trendsetters — not exactly an art in my opinion.
3D printing has sort of taken this stale industry and turned it into something really incredible. It’s just a questions of whether or not that “incredibleness” is too much, too soon. Some fashion designers don’t see it this way, as they have taken huge strides in using 3D printing in order to create fashion which is almost “alienesque” in nature. This is happening by designers from all over the globe, from the United States to Australia, Asia, and even Africa. 3D printing is actually gaining some momentum within the fashion industry — so much so, even one design school in China recently held a huge 3D printing fashion show, unlike any we’ve seen before.
This past week, the Nanjing University of the Arts, School of Design, held an incredible fashion show focused solely around 3D printing technology. The design school, which has over 2,100 undergraduate students in attendance, held this event in the school’s recreation area, featuring over 150 individual 3D printed fashion designs, made by 42 different students. The theme of the show was “Exploration of the Secret”, and in attendance were fellow students, faculty, community members and even members of the press. The designs which were displayed, ranged from elegant, to “breathtaking”, to just plain weird. They featured Voronoi style costumes as well as attire which took on the appearance of wild animal skeletal remains. There were wings, and there were tails, there were hats and shoulder pads which most definitely could not have been created using more traditional technology. In all, the show left many in attendance in awe, and it showed that just perhaps, 3D printing may actually have a place in fashion.
According to those putting on the show, the idea was to allow students to use this up-and-coming technology to create objects that show exactly what is possible when emotion, arts, creativity and exploration all come together as one. The answer is one which I’m not yet 100% sure of. How about you?
What do you think? Will 3D printing and fashion every complete converge to bring us new, custom aspects to the fashion industry and ultimately take it into a new dimension? What do you think of some of these designs? Discuss in the Chinese 3D Printed Fashion Show forum thread on 3DPB.com.