Assistant Professor Laura Forlano Explores Computational Fashion in Master Class

Opening night of fashion week, an unconventional fashion exhibit was unveiled at the Making Patterns exhibition at South Street Seaport's Culture District. Eyebeam and Shapeways presented a new collection of 3D-printed fashion garments from this year's Computational Fashion Master Class. The show showcased the most current advances in 3D-printed fashion design including a project that assistant professor Laura Forlano collaborated on with Minna Kao and Amy Sperber.

code to ware is an exploration of notions of hybridity around gender, labor and materiality including the integration of both digital and bespoke elements. With the recognition that many of iconic examples of computational fashion are womenswear, the group sought to engage the labor history of the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park, where the Eyebeam course was based, as inspiration for the project. Through ethnographic observations in the neighborhood as well as online historial research, we uncovered the rich ethnic composition of the neighborhood including immigrants from Mexico and China. We also discovered the important role of the Brooklyn Army Terminal in the neighborhood's labor history as the primary place where all of the military supplies were stored until after World War II. As a result, they settled on the creation of a modular men's dress shirt including a collar, bib and cuffs. As a link to the Mexican community in Sunset Park, the group explored traditional Oaxacan textile patterns as inspiration for the bib. While the initial instinct was to attempt to control the design of the pattern for the various components, they learned to co-design the piece along with the digital tools and software code. This led to the creation of a 3D printed garment with aesthetics that surprised and moved them beyond their original ideas. The group decided to dye the piece and embellish it with gold cord in order to achieve a hybrid digital-bespoke quality.

In a recent post, the creator's project explored the work created in the class.

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Laura Forlano