Oct 8, 2015 | By Kira

Though many know Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth, the fierce and androgynous warrior from Game of Thrones who is more comfortable battling kingslayers than wearing a gown, when it comes to haute couture Christie is as glamorous as they come. Now, the stunning 6’2” blonde has made it to the center of the biggest event in the fashion industry, Paris Fashion Week, by having an Iris van Herpen dress 3D printed directly onto her body.

For anybody present, the scene may have looked more like an alien ritual than your average fashion show. Christie lay motionless on a round concrete slab in the centre of a vast room as three animatronic scultpures, magnetically 'grown' by fellow Dutch creative and technophile Jólan van der Wiel, deftly wove a dress onto her body, mixing several diffferent techniques including laser cutting, hand weaving and 3D printing. As all of this was going on, svelte models wearing van Herpen’s SS16 collection—a series of futuristic chainlike and metallic pieces made from three-dimensional mesh and leather lace embedded with Swarovski crystals—strutted around the room. To add to the supernatural aura, the models appeared to float across the runway on their towering 'airborne' booties.

Van Herpen named the collection 'Quaquaversal,' which means "going off in all directions. She told Vogue that that is how she approachers her work "collaborating with scientists, artists, biologists and now performers." The Dutch couturier is perhaps the greatest name in 3D printed fashion, quickly making her way towards the ranks of Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfield in terms of her willingness to take risks, her dedication to craftsmanship and innovation, and the fine balance her work achieves between fine handwork techniques and digital technology. Her haute couture designs incorporate the latest in materials technology, including flexible 3D printed dresses and translucent crystalline shoes. Given her eccentric and futuristic style, van Herpen’s runway shows often end up looking more like contemporary art installations, and this year’s Paris Fashion Week appearance was no exception.  

“[Her] work reveals the secret structures of our existence giving us a multidimensional experience of what it is to be alive,” said Christie on the designer's work. “It is an investigation into the past, present and future in all its primal and mythological forms.” Thanks to innovations in 3D printing materials, van Herpen is able to create silhouttes that would never be possible with traditional manufacturing techniques. Some of the dresses shown in Paris featured silvery laser-cut fishnets and synthetic chains so thin, the embedded crystals appeare to be hovering over the models; a part of their skin.

Given that professionals within the industry look to Paris Fashion week as the baseline for what to do in the coming seasons, we should expect to see more innovative and unexpected digital materials and techniques making their way into our closets (or at least magazine editorials). Though if any of them will be executed and presented as brilliantly as van Herpen’s designs has yet to be seen. As for Christie, who will be starring in not one but two major science fiction blockbusters, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Pt 2 and Star Wars: Episode VII, she seems to have found the perfect fashion fit. What could be more fitting to wear to a sci-fi premeir than a 3D printed gown apparently sent from the future?



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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