Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia is using 3D printing for high fashion. The results are nearly seamless jackets that form part of Balenciaga’s Autumn/Winter 2018 collection.
Gvasalia took 3D scans of his models’ bodies and then adjusted the body scans in a CAD program to achieve the “tailoring” he desired. The scans were then 3D printed, molded and cast with a lightweight foam. Tweeds and velvets were then bonded to the foam to create the finished jacket.
Haute Couture and additive manufacturing
Speaking to Vogue Gvasalia said “For the first time, I did digital fittings on a laptop. We 3D scanned bodies and then we altered the shapes in files, 3D printed them, and actually made molds. The tailoring part that you see is all printed. There are only two seams on the side and the arm hole”.
The jackets follow a wave of fashion houses in 2018 using 3D printing to innovate their collections and shows. Gucci raised attention in its own Autumn/Winter 2018 show by having models carry 3D printed replicas of their own heads down the catwalk.
But it was back in 2011 that 3D printing for fashion began to ascend, with a Haute Couture runway show at that year’s Materialise World Summit. During that event, work by Iris van Herpen, Elvis Pompilio, Daniel Widrig and Niccolo Casas was shown. Since then the melding of artistic design and technology has proved a popular addition to many other 3D printing events.
Realizing the potential of 3D printing
For Gvasalia the the potential of 3D printing to innovate tailoring is only beginning to be realized, in an i-D magazine interview he said “For me, it represents what I love about tailoring and what Balenciaga stands for in terms of architectural garments. We started quite artisanally, then worked with 3D scanning body moulding specialists — we worked with people who aren’t used to working in fashion. I hope it’s the beginning of a long collaboration”.
Gvasalia’s Autumn/Winter collection for Balenciaga is shortlisted for a 2018 3D Printing Industry Award in the 3D Scanning Project or Application of the year category. You can vote now in the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards.
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