The nexus between couture fashion and technology continues to produce fascinating works exuding a startling sexuality. The Spire Dress by Alexis Walsh bristles with allure and danger as ivory intertwines and bursts from the contours of the body scantily clad. A sexy version of a wearable Watts Tower, the design occurred thanks to a collaboration between Walsh and classmate Ross Leonardy, the more tech savvy of the two, and their ability to utilize CAD modelling programs. The design caught the attention of the 3D Print Show with its London edition taking place next week and Alexis is up for 3D printing fashion designer of the year.
While displayed privately and exclusively through Parsons the New School for Design, Spire ought to elicit a stunned reaction from viewers. The process that led to its construction underscores the accessibility of 3D printing and the relevance the method now holds within fashion design. Walsh and Ross stuck to a stringent daily routine in order to comprehend CAD programing by immersing themselves in Rhino and eventually Grasshopper. The prototyped prints came from a MakerBot printer made available to Walsh, and after testing and finalizing the design, the modifications were sent to Shapeways for the 400 individual pieces to be printed in white nylon. With a six month learning period, the team successfully mastered the software and print capabilities for the ostentatious dress.
It has been dubbed the Spire Dress because interwoven trellis forms of cathedral spires inspired individual units of the dress. The two students are the first to use 3D printing for fashion at Parsons and they have certainly set a high standard for concept and style there. They hope their narrative inspires other fashion students and designers to embrace 3D printing and illustrate the accessibility of 3D CAD software. The model boldly wears the Spire complete with intricately laced (with nearly invisible stitching) zipper and metal rings holding the dress together. While leaving little hidden in a corporeal sense, the Spire Dress successfully highlights the beauty of the body while drawing attention to the sharp snowflake apparel, a winning quality.