Tessa’s Designer Pick – Julia Koerner and 3D Printing

2021-02-05

Tessa Blokland  

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Julia Koerner is an Austrian designer working at the intersection of architecture, product, and fashion design. You might know her work from the catwalk in collaboration with Iris van Herpen or from Marvel Studio’s Black Panther in collaboration with costume designer Ruth Carter. What I like about the work of Koerner is that she uses 3D printing in a ready-to-wear context: it serves its purpose, accessible, and acceptable at first glance.

The 3D printed Setae jacket, created for Stratasys, finds its inspiration on the wings of the Madagascan Sunset Butterfly. The wings are covered with minuscule hairs. Koerner mimicked these into an algorithm and translated them into 3D patterns. The 3D printed strands are printed directly on flexible fabric. Due to the flexibility of the fabric and the delicate color transformation, it expresses an organic animal flow that comes to life.

The 3D printed crown (also top image) as well as the shoulder mantle of Queen Ramonda, one of the main characters in the motion picture Black Panther, are the results of a collaboration between Carter and Koerner. Based on the design sketches from Carter, Koerner and her frequent collaborator Kais Al-Raw developed various geometric pieces through laser sintering and polyamide material (for its accuracy, flexibility and is well-suited for skin contact). It resulted in an astonishing costume design and contributed to an Oscar for Carter for the Best Costume Design. Koerner collaborated with the Belgium-based 3D printing service provider Materialise.

The 3D printed dress and 3D printed bag you see on this picture are part of Koerner’s Arid collection. It is a set of 38 3D printed parts that can be combined to form a dress. The collection is part of a research project, Re-FREAM, with the aim to pairs designers with scientists to reimagine the manufacturing processes of the fashion industry. A special feature of the parts is that all seams are connected with 3D printed joinery, so no sewing is involved. The 3D printed joints are directly printed on the fabric.

The last 3D printed dress belongs to the Voltage collection of Iris van Herpen with whom Koerner collaborated for Van Herpen’s fashion show in Paris. The black dress was printed by Materialise. What is hard to see in the image is that the texture of the dress consists out of layers of thin 3D printed woven lines that animate the body in an organic way, something that is not possible to achieve with conventional techniques.

Julia Koerner adjusting the 3D printed “Venus Dress” (2016) on a model. Image by Tom Oldham.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_Julia Koerner and 3D Printing

Each of Tessa’s designer pick is a curated group of 3D printed designs or projects from one designer or design studio. If you would like to offer a designer or design studio for Tessa, or if you have your 3D printed designs or projects you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest picks every week in your mailbox.

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