Be inspired. I was recently at a café that has a nook library right beside the kitchen. A swap library, they called it. The idea is to take a book, any book. In fact, take a book you probably wouldn’t have taken before and then, bring back a book or two from your own personal collection. The idea? To enthuse someone, and yourself, with a new story, idea or perspective.
And I think that’s largely what this series of fashion technology is about. Learning and exploring the world of fashion; even though you may have already found your niche or forte. Because just like the industry itself, the art and the skill set are constantly evolving and you never know what that little snippet of information might ignite in your imagination.
Take for example, designer Kiara Gounder. Inspired by Iris van Herpen’s 3D garment printing, this fashion design graduate of Durban University of Technology embarked on a 3D fashion journey of her own. Gounder applied 3D printing tech to her design practice and created the ‘Digital Nature’ collection; which was inspired by nature’s symmetry. The sleek creations were inspired by the fusion of monochrome garments and microscopic images of plants, fossils and insect cells. With the main piece, and showstopper, being the 3D printed neck-piece that effortlessly manages to be delicate and refined simultaneously.
Her work placed her in 2015’s 40 Design Indaba Emerging Creatives but this is only the beginning. Despite the fact that South Africa hasn’t really embraced 3D printing in fashion and textile, she hasn’t let that dampen her curiosity in the field. She plans to take her studies on 3D printing tech a step further with her Masters studies to develop wearable 3D garments and materials.
Will she become as good as, or even greater than one of her inspirations – South African Designer and 3D artist, Dr Michaella Janse van Vuuren? Only time will tell. But one thing she holds steadfast to, as she expressed in an interview with Times Live SA, “[m]y aim is to motivate more South African fashion designers and students to incorporate innovative technologies into their design practice.”
So as this series draws to a close, we encourage you to go through the posts again. Who knows? It could spark ideas on the ways you save energy and resources, or redefine what quality means for your brand. It could help you save costs or give you the courage to try something new with your tried and tested tradition. There’s a world of possibilities waiting for you, designers; don’t be afraid to dream a little bigger.
We’d love to hear which stories from the series inspired you the most and what you may have incorporated into your craft in the comments below.