Fairytale Fashion

While Diana Eng was a resident at Eyebeam I was asked to assist her with her project: Fairytale Fashion. The objective was to use wearable technologies, tessellated structures, and 3d printing to produce unusual, fantastical, and otherwise impossible fashions. There was also an education aspect to the project. In addition to generating algorithms, prototypes, and 3d models, I also produced a series of demonstrations and interviews about the technologies we were using. All of the videos are available here.

One project that I developed was a series of 3d printed housings for our electronic components. Many of our outfits featured sensors and light emitting elements in the form of EL wire, stitchable LEDs, and OLED patches. I designed some housings to mimic Victorian cameos. These were generated by painting a depth map of the cameo design, turning it into a displacement map for geometry using Zbrush, and applying that displacement to a SolidWorks model. I built others to use extruded lace and doily designs. Using a program called MeshMixer I built a housing featuring the Stanford Bunny.

I spent a good deal of my time working at Eyebeam developing tessellating patterns that could be realized in cloth and felt. Having unrestricted access to a laser cutter, I could develop many slightly different permutations on a pattern, score them onto vellum, and fold the resulting shape. The process made finding the significant factors controlling the rigidity, dimensional stability, and puckering of the patterns simple.

I also produced a number of material experiments to see how programmatic structures could relate to clothing-ready materials. These experiments involved laser cut leather, spandex, soft plastics, laminated paper, and felt.

There’s a very good writeup about the final show on the SML Pro Blog.


Fairytale Fashion on Motherboard TV, Make, and Craft.