Here’s some forward-thinking fashion—not only is it made using rapid fabrication techniques, but you can design the dress yourself over the internet. Artist Mary Huang’s project called Continuum explores what she calls “computational couture” and allows you to easily create a bespoke piece of fashion that is sized and designed exclusively to your preferences.
She explains it:
Continuum is a concept for a web-based fashion label in which designs are user-generated using custom software and made to order to your personal measurements. Its seminal collection is a deconstruction of the classic little black dress. Software allows you to “draw” a dress and converts it into a 3D model, which is turned into a flat pattern that can be cut out of fabric and sewn into the dress. Not only can the physical dress be purchased through the label, but the cutting patterns are downloadable free of charge for those who would rather devote the time to making their own.
The program used to create the d.Dress is simple to use with the designs based on triangles, meaning the results have the potential to appear quite abstract but allow for easy creation. You just move your cursor over the mannequin and using Delaunay triangulation it translates your movements into black triangles. You can stop when you’re happy with the shape you’ve drawn or go back to a blank canvas if you’re not. As you sketch the design, a 3D model is generated and appears to your left, which you can rotate for a 360 view of your creation. Once you’re happy with your design, you can save it to the gallery, which stores other user’s creations as well and is a great place for some inspiration if you’re feeling stuck. More important, you can also download one of these 3D models as a .stl file to make the dress yourself or place an order with your measurements to have one created for you.
It’s an interesting experiment and a fascinating concept because it allows both budding designers and novices alike to have a go at creating customized clothes and, much like 3D printing, puts the production and manufacturing process into the hands of the consumer. Plus, in an age of mass consumption it brings a little avant-garde haute couture glam into your life. Possibly. Depending on your design skills. It could also end up looking like a wearable garbage bag.