This is a guest post by Shapeways Community member Jenny Wu.
I received a grant from Shapeways to work on a 3D printing project with another emerging fashion designer, Jordana Howard of Echo and Air. The initial concept for the project was rather simple, but the execution of the project opened up a world of possibilities. I realized the project was going to be a pursuit that I will be working on for quite a long time. A bit of my background, I am an architect and partner at the Los Angeles based firm, Oyler Wu Collaborative.
A few years ago, I saw a void within the 3D printed fashion market that I thought I could fill. Most 3D printed fashion falls into two categories: the ultra avant-garde, iconic couture pieces that have graced various well known fashion runways to pieces designed by DYI makers who are exploring 3D printing technology. My collection positions itself somewhere in between, creating high end pieces that are highly wearable (literally comfortable to wear) but bring forth innovative design that utilizes my background in digital modeling to exploit 3D printing technology to its fullest. Last Fall, I launched a line of ready-to-wear 3D printed jewelry collection called LACE by Jenny Wu and have received overwhelmingly positive responses from both the tech and fashion world.
Recently, much of the advancement in 3D printed fashion has been focused on creating entirely 3D printed clothing, shoes to accessories. For the grant, I was interested in merging 3D printing with conventional methods of fashion making. Similar to my own research in architecture, our office has develop new techniques of working with both digital fabrication with conventional wood or steel fabrication to create work that cannot be done solely based on one expertise. I approached Jordana Howard, a fashion designer based in Los Angeles, for this collaboration because of her interest in unconventional assembly and details in fashion. We have been working back and forth in understanding how to develop new details in combining these two very different ways of working to create a piece of clothing. The first piece is still in its nascency. We started by patterning a conventional piece of clothing and then looked at how fabric could weave into the 3D printed elements so that they become one cohesive garment. Over the past few months, we have had to understand the different technologies and methods to understand how to create something innovative. In the coming months, we hope to put some of these efforts into the details of a ready-to-wear garment that will inspire new ways of thinking about 3D printing in fashion.
Keep up with new LACE designs on their instagram feed.