When Belgium-based 3D printing innovators Materialise approached avante-garde award-winning Malaysian fashion designer Melinda Looi with an offer to collaborate on a 3D printed collection for the runway, Looi was thrilled with the opportunity. The collection involved a team of six to eight people, including three 3D modelers, two engineers, and Looi’s own design team. Each piece took months to design and convert into 3D files. They were then printed at Materialise headquarters in Belgium. The theme of the show was “Birds” and featured avian designs inspired by nature (check out the rib cage-shaped harness design on the Open Wings piece pictured below).
This project was challenging because it involved coordinating efforts and technical expertise. On the other hand, it was also great fun to be able to work with such an innovative technology. Creating fashion with technology has always been something I wanted to do, so when Materialise approached me with this opportunity, it was like a dream come true! The collaborative effort involving people from different fields and backgrounds truly reminded me that exciting and beautiful things happen when art and technology meet! It is truly a great honour to be the first Asian fashion designer to design a collection using AM technology.
Like much of what hits a fashion runway, the pieces in the collection are clearly not meant to be practical garments, rather visionary pieces of art framed on the human form.
Materialise produced a video that gives a synopsis of the design and production process involved:
Below are select images of Looi’s work on the runway (all shots of Melinda Looi’s work below by Zung of The Photoz). At the top of this post is Looi’s headgear, titled Face It.
Looi’s Open Wings (wings cape):
Open Wings detail:
Looi’s Let Her Shine (peacock skirt) :
Looi’s Stand on Me (wedges):
Looi’s Her Love and Strength (necklace):
Melinda Looi with the head of Materialise Malaysia, Wim Michiels:
Also involved in the show were Niccolò Casas (a piece from The Alchemy Collection shown directly below) and the winners of a i.materialise challenge (last 3 shots):