Technology is injecting a new dynamism and excitement into the glamorous yet staid world of haute couture. The intricate creations that les petite mains of Paris produce are incredible, but the human hand has its’ limits. 3D printing, laser cutting, and robotics are making haute couture that no human seamstress, however skilled, could ever sew – henceforth the fashion tech solutions evolving the creation of bespoke fashion.
One-off, bespoke clothes can be created using technology like CAD design along with digital pattern making and measurements using body scanning – it will fit like a glove with absolutely no wasted materials. Not only does this technology create made to measure garments as effectively as a trained tailor, but it lets the designer’s imagination soar.
3D printed design
Take for example, the incredible creations of Iris Van Herpen. Continually pushing the boundaries of couture, Van Herpen was one of the first designers to adopt 3D printing as a garment construction technique. She works with experts in science, technology and architecture to develop her ideas. The results are astounding pieces inspired by the structure of ice crystals, smoke or the fractal patterns found in nature.
Recently, fashion label Carlings decided to do away with materiality altogether and created an entirely digital, limited edition collection. The consumer simply chose the garment they like online, sent the digital tailors a photo of themselves, and the technicians tweaked the digital outfit to exactly fit the buyer’s photo. The result was an image for posting on social media – which after all is where most people get to see our best outfits anyway. Similar companies such as Atacac and The Fabricant are pioneering the space, which have really come into the limelight the past couple of years and spawning endless possible ways for brands to experiment digitally.
At IFA Paris we are extremely excited about the possibilities of creating future fashions using advanced technologies, our fab lab partner Villette Makerz works with our Bachelor in Fashion Design & Technology students to do just that. This gives students hands on experience in 3D scanning of the human body, creation of custom models and finally manufacture using laser cutting. Inspired by this, we are in the process of creating our own onsite makerspace situated inside the pending fashion tech innovation lab launching in autumn 2019.