South African artist Gert-Johan Coetzee caused quite a sensation at the world-famous Miss Universe pageant in El Salvador in mid-November. He designed the gown for Bryoni Govender, who represented South Africa. For the finale, the model wore the creation which was composed of several 3D-printed parts, further proof that additive manufacturing has a real place in the fashion industry. It should be noted that the designer created the outfits of several candidates in the 72nd edition of Miss Universe, ultimately won by Sheynnis Palacios from Nicaragua.
This is hardly the first time that Gert-Johan Coetzee has used additive manufacturing in his creations. It’s a technology he’s already adopted in multiple instances, namely in order to enable him to imagine innovative shapes and associations. This is a trend that we have seen for a while. Indeed, in the fashion industry, and more particularly in haute couture, stylists and designers the world over are always constantly striving to find new ideas, geometries and textures to make their creations stand out from the crowd. And it’s often the case that the use of technology takes creativity to a whole new level.
This is yet another example, as one of the dresses worn by the South African Miss Universe contestant was designed in part using 3D printing. The designer gives little information about the process and materials used, but simply explains that he spent 530 hours working on the garment, which is made up of scales of sorts, like a mermaid. We can imagine that it was these scales that perhaps 3D printed in several stages and then assembled. In any case, the dress also featured over 3,000 Swarovski crystals, considerably enhancing the outfit and making it fit for a queen.
Even if the designer remained tight-lipped about the manufacturing process, he did say about his inspiration and the symbolism behind the dress: “Embracing the spirit of powerful women who stand as guardians and defenders, the dress honors the courage and fortitude exemplified by women in protecting their communities and fostering a better world for all.” One thing’s for sure, this azure blue dress caused quite a stir at the event, and shows how 3D technologies can be used to create masterpieces! You can find all the South African designer’s creations on his website HERE.
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*All Photo Credits: Gert-Johan Coetzee