July 26, 2013

3D-Printed Clothing And Accessories – Science Fiction Or Fashion’s Imminent Future?

If right now, fashionistas’ wardrobes are stacked with Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel or Dior, in the not so far-off future, they could very well feature sketches of designer pieces…and a 3D printer.

Dita Von Teese has already stirred the global appetite for 3D-printed dresses, when she swapped her usual ultra-seductive burlesque outfits, for a stunning dress, generated with the help of a 3D printer. The exquisite and much-appreciated dress, designed by Michael Schmidt and brought to life by architect Francis Bitonti, perfectly enveloped Dita’s voluptuous curves, prompting an avalanche of adoration of global proportions.



Created via SLS technology (selective laser sintering), the dress was the dress was built up in layers out of nylon powder that had been fused together by lasers, rendering a flexible and fluid structure. 12,000 Swarovski crystals topped off the stunning dress, transforming it into a veritable SF objet d’art.


Well-known and highly appreciated for her edgy and futuristic designs, Iris Van Herpen is also a fan of generating clothes and accessories via 3D printing. Her haute couture show back in 2011 marked the debut of 3D printed pieces on the runway. For the current season, Iris has collaborated with architect Rem D. Koolhaas, to create an impressive pair of 3D-printed footwear.

 A model presents a creation by Dutch des


Catherine Wales is also enthusiastic about this new development in fashion. A couple of accessories from her debut collection, ”Project DNA”, will be featured in the ”The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution”, an exhibition put together by the Design Museum of London, aiming to explore the manner in which digital technology is revolutionising fashion.



Chapelier extraordinaire Stephen Jones has already announced the imminent launch of a piece of headgear created through 3D printing, while Nike has, just a few months ago, launched a pair of football shoes embellished with 3D-printed studs.

Even if mass-produced 3D-printed pieces come with a healthy set of advantages (the possibility of a very high level of customisation, achieved through the creation of clothes and accessories perfectly fit to the customer’s measurements, cost reduction for designers, rendered by the elimination of prototypes created for product development, and thus, the promise of products that are more accessible for clients), I dare to say that a printed dress will sadly never be able to achieve the grace and beauty of a couture creation, hand crafted with immense skill by artisan craftsmen, who have cultivated their unmatchable talent over entire decades.


Did you enjoy the article?  Follow the exciting world of Fashion avec Passion on Twitter and Instagram as well!

Photos courtesy of: metalocus.es, designtaxi.com, fashion.telegraph.co.uk, stylecaster.com, glamour.com

Video courtesy of: youtube.com