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3D printed ‘tech couture’ dresses hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week

At Paris Fashion Week, technology and fashion collided when a model walked down the runway in a striking 3D printed dress.

The simple black dress (pictured above) is not particularly avant-garde, but fashion critics are fascinated by the way it was made.

The dress, as well as a structured skirt and cape (pictured below), were designed as part of Iris van Herpen’s Haute Couture show “Voltage.” According to a news release, the collection came about in collaboration with Austrian architect Julia Koerne, and Materialize, a Belgian-based company that provides additive manufacturing software and solutions.

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Above: The piece’s intricate lace-like texture was created in a process known as “laser sintering.”

The second ensemble, a cape and skirt, was created in collaboration with artist, architect, designer, and professor Neri Oxman from MIT’s Media Lab. After the show, the 3D printed fashion collection will be exhibited at MIT.

Stratasys Objet Connex 3-D printer manufactured the pieces, which is why a variety of material properties could work into single build. This allows both hard and soft materials to be incorporated within the design.

“The ability to vary softness and elasticity inspired us to design a second skin for the body acting as armor-in-motion; in this way we were able to design not only the garment’s form but also its motion,” said Oxman in a statement.

He added that these new technologies enabled the reinterpretation of couture as “tech-couture,” where “delicate hand-made embroidery and needlework” is replaced by code.

Check out a video teaser of the collection:

Top image: Adafruit blog

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