THE MET GALA 2019
The MET Gala 2019 saw a plethora of celebrities dressed in exquisite outfits, but some outfits had a unique element that others didn’t. They were 3D printed dresses by New York based fashion designer Zac Posen. From Hollywood star Katie Holmes and British model Jourdan Dunn to Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Posen’s dresses were sported by a stunning bunch of A-listers.
Posen – one of the world’s leading designers teamed up with GE Additive and Proto labs to create 3D dresses and the results were simply breathtaking.
First, the models’ dimensions were captured through photogrammetry, where the designer walks around the model taking photos and then reconstructs them in 3D. A process is called stereolithography was used by Proto labs to bring outfits to life. In this process, a uniquely designed 3D printing machine called a stereo lithograph apparatus converts liquid plastic into solid objects.
In Zac’s own words, “I dreamt the collection, GE Additive helped engineer it and Proto labs printed it.”
Padukone’s Met Gala dress – a pink jacquard gown, included a layered skirt covered with 408 sea urchin-like baubles which were created using stereolithography and then hand-sewn to the dress. It took about 160 hours to create these sea urchins!
The process is a lengthy one, but the results speak for themselves. Jourdan Dunn’s custom Zac Posen rose gown featured 21 petals, 20 inches in size and weighing 450 grams each. The outfit was designed for a 3D re-creation of Dunn’s body. While the plastic petals were printed on a stereolithography machine and topped off with color-shifting automotive paint. The finishing of the dress took a whopping 1100 hours and each petal has an estimated worth of USD 3,000! Jourdan wore the dress with the elegance of a rose, so much so you wouldn’t be able to tell the petals were actually fastened to a modular cage.
The idea behind these creations was to display nature in motion. Posen stated in an interview: “For me, science, engineering and art all work together. That’s why standing at the forefront of 3D printing is so important.” This idea was beautifully brought to life, whether it was Jourdan Dunn’s blood-red rose petal gown or Nina Dobrev’s custom made clear printed ice dress.
The concept of 3D-printing displays immense potential for the future of the fashion industry. It allows customization, precision and scaling that cannot be achieved by traditional methods of fashion design. This enables designers to push the boundaries of fashion, giving them immense design freedom. 3D printing for fashion can be seen as a very pure designing process, right from the concept to the creation. With it, the world of possibilities has grown even larger.
The result of playing with fashion technology and natural elements was perfectly encapsulated by Posen’s creations. His creative thinking style is sure to inspire other designers to experiment with the concept of 3D printing in fashion. This idea was always seen as the future of fashion and Posen brought it to the present.