Over the past couple of years, we have really begun to see 3D printed fashion actually become a “thing”. It was just 3-4 years ago that even the mention of 3D printing in the same sentence as fashion would have enticed laughter and shoulder shrugs from even the most cutting edge designers. While you can’t exactly say that 3D printed fashion has caught on quite yet, when you begin to see fashion design legends such as Karl Lagerfeld using the technology in the creation of various fashion pieces, you know that it must not be as ridiculous of an idea as most people probably thought just a few years back.
At Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday, Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer and creative director of Chanel, unveiled a futuristic 3D printed version of the classic Chanel suit to an audience filled with celebrities. Johnny Depp, Rita Ora, Kristen Stewart, Lily-Rose and Julianne Moore were just a handful of the celebrities on hand to watch a rather unique runway / casino show at The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées in Paris.
While celebrities played casino games at Chanel branded tables, Lagerfeld was taking a gamble of his own by unveiling a little 3D printed fashion. The very modern-day version of the classic Chanel suit that Lagerfeld unveiled featured 3D printed elements. The square-cut shoulders were part of this 3D printed suit which was created using selective laser sintering technology, where lasers are used to melt (sinter) powdered material one layer at a time, based on a 3-dimensional computer model.
“The idea is to take the most iconic jacket of the 20th century and make a 21st century version, which technically was unimaginable in the period when it was born,” Lagerfeld told AFP after the show. “The vest is one piece, there is no sewing, it is moulded. “What keeps couture alive, is to move with the times. If it stays like sleeping beauty in the woods in an ivory tower, you can forget it. The women who buy couture today are not the bourgeoises of the past, they are young, modern women.”
Lagerfeld has never been one to shy away from controversy nor the idea of trying new things within the fashion industry, so it really comes as no surprise that he would be the one to endeavor into the potential that 3D printing may provide for fashion; not only in the future but in current times as well.
Even though Lagerfeld is in his 70s or 80s (no one seems to know for sure), he is a man who realizes that times change, and so do the people living in those times. While many people are stuck in a time when their lives were the “most interesting”, “most exciting” or perhaps even “most dramatic”, Lagerfeld evolves with the times, appealing to generation after generation as though he is part of each new generation of women.
Perhaps that next generation will be known as the “3D printing generation”, and if Lagerfeld thinks 3D printing will be part of the future of fashion, it is hard to debate his opinion. After all, he has been quite accurate for the past several decades.
Is 3D printing going to play a major role in the future of fashion? Discuss in the Karl Lagerfeld forum thread on 3DPB.com .