Apr 12, 2016 | By Alec

3D printing has become a perfect tool for fashion designers. At the 2016 edition of the Wuhan Textile University Fashion Week, student Tang Xiao showcased three gorgeous 3D printed dresses, all featuring white bone-like structures inspired by the Sirens of Greek mythology.

The 2016 edition of the Wuhan Textile University Fashion Week kicked off in Beijing last week, and will continue until the end of this week. Exhibiting over 100 amazing creations by graduate students spread out over nine days and 17 shows, it is the perfect occasion to find out more about what China’s up-and-coming fashion designers are working on.

But few designers stood out more than Tang Xiao thanks to her amazing blend of fashion and top level technology. While we’ve seen 3D printed dresses before, the 23-year-old Tang Xiao went out of her way to mimic bone structures as closely as possible for her three dresses. What’s more, all dresses have been 3D printed and modeled to fit the model’s body perfectly, with each section of clothing being tailored separately. Tang Xiao worked on the three 3D printed dresses for a total of four months from start to finish. In total she believes to have spent about 50,000 RMB on the dresses, or about $7,700 USD.

What’s more, all dresses were inspired by the mysterious Sirens from Greek mythology – the enchanting, gorgeous and deadly sea creatures who lured sailors to their deaths with their mesmerizing music. As the designer explained, that definition of a Siren sometimes gets in the way of seeing those creatures objectively. “For a lot of people, a Siren is simply beautiful, deadly and poisonous. But I actually wanted to emphasize it as just a creature, a very pure and simple creature. These judgements mirror modern society, where a lot of people only look at the surface of others,” she explains.

This is also reflected in the chosen color scheme – or lack thereof. “Today, we always wear ‘colored glasses’ used to judge others, so I decided to use white as an overall color. This expresses their inner purity,” she says. “As to the shape of the dresses, I exaggerated them a bit to reflect the qualities of 3D printing. A 3D printer can make almost anything, it constructs objects and forms that are impossible for other technologies to copy.”

According to Tao Hui, the Vice President of the Wuhan Textile University, this project shows exactly what 3D printing can bring to fashion design. It offers, he said in his introduction, huge advantages when it comes to customizing and rapid prototyping very fine structures. Once more materials appear on the market, they can be used to realize wearable accessories and clothes. He believes it is a very attractive technology for those people who want to design and 3D print their own unique clothes.

Unfortunately, the technology’s material limitations are preventing its adoption by the clothing industry, the vice president argued. “We are used to clothing being flexible, which fits our constantly changing body shapes. The biggest problem holding 3D printing back is that we are trying to put rigid materials onto the flexible human body. That’s why we are not wearing 3D printed clothes yet,” Tao Hui said. This is certainly emphasized by Tang Xiao’s dresses, which are absolutely gorgeous but don’t look very comfortable.

Nonetheless, the vice president feels that these kinds of projects do pave the way for further use of 3D printing in fashion, especially for accessories and wearables. “We can already use it for accessories, as quite a lot of international designers are already doing. These are just 3D printed concepts that give us a glimpse of the future. A future industry where traditional sewing could be replaced by one-time forming through 3D printing. No matter what style you prefer, we can make it in a single print job,” he concluded.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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