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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  21 Jan 2015  |  Comments (2)


Having witnessed a few of my nearest and dearest succumb to the mediative delights of knitting, I'm beginning to cultivate an appreciation—for the materiality and intricate skills of the art—that I might have normally reserved for wood or metal work. As with any craft, there are whole supporting industries attached that often remain hidden to the unindoctrinated—and any number of innovators tinkering on the peripheries—that can often be fascinating upon first exposure.

One such novelty that an education in needle work has revealed is the remarkable (if incredibly simple) textile innovation that is Woolfiller—the invention of Netherlands product designer Heleen Klopper, who was inspired after developing a fascination for wool and felt. In a similar vein to Sugru in the world of hard materials, Woolfiller is a product dedicated to fixing and repairing in the world of knitting and woolwear.



Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |  15 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


Over the last few months, the hot topic of conversation among myself and my female startup friends (and a number of male friends too) has switched from the usual suspects of Shinola, YikYak, Casper etc to an unlikely pick: the New York-based underwear company Dear Kate.

Dear Kate's marketing campaign for their Ada Collection—an underwear line taking its namesake from famed programmer Ada Lovelace—sent a controversial ripple through the press last August in response to its use of high ranking women in tech as underwear models. The small but outspoken company responded publicly to the criticism of 'setting back women in tech' with the hashtag '#notcontroversial,' backed by overwhelming social media support via photos from their devotees outfitted in the company's wares (and not much else).

The incredible devotion of Dear Kate users combined with the ability to strike just the right marketing cord has pushed them into the spotlight, often overshadowing the not-to-be underestimated design and technology credentials of their product. Admittedly, I had mixed feelings about the brand following the launch of the Ada collection, however the quality of their products and attention to the needs of their target audience wins me over every time. As their recent Kickstarter campaign for their new line of yoga pants proves, Dear Kate is doing something very right. The yoga pants use the same Underlux technology as their underwear and solve a number of sensitive issues for their users, unabashedly tackling everything from panty lines to incontinence. I caught up with CEO and Founder Julie Sygiel to shed some light on designing the yoga pants, Underlux technology and outspoken marketing.


Core77: What's the history of Dear Kate?

Julie Sygiel: The business plan for Dear Kate was hatched in my college entrepreneurship class. At first it was a fun, unique idea (especially given that our class was 80% male), and then the longer we worked on it, the more committed I became to actually creating the underwear. Studying chemical engineering in school gave me the confidence to dive in and start learning about technical fabrics. Once I got started, it snowballed into collaborating with textile development teams at fabric manufacturers to create Underlux. Instead of having to totally outsource product development, my science background allowed me to be the one guiding everything from the fabric to the designs to the construction and fit of the product, which is something that I continue to be very involved in today as we develop new products.

How has your background influenced the trajectory of the company?

Aside from my technical background, I've always had an interest in fashion and feminism. I was also a Girl Scout for 12 years and sold over 10,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies so the notion that I could create and then market a product that is fashionable, plus make women's lives easier, was a dream come true. It checked all of my boxes in a way that I didn't know was possible and just felt "right." Once I started working on the business idea, it was addictive and became all I thought about.


Posted by Sam Dunne  |   1 Dec 2014  |  Comments (2)


I dare say a fair majority of us here share a healthy designerly appreciation for bags and luggage, and, in all likelihood, are partial, on occasion, to the practicalities of a trusty tote. Knowing that, and the realities of carrying around the sorts of oddities and objects that a life creating demands, I'm might also pressume that you share my pain for difficulties of carrying things flat—be it ferrying a fragile prototype across town at speed by bike or safely transporting some home-made food to a friends, or perhaps some sort of picnic scenario.

If any of this does sound familiar, then perhaps you'll be able to share (or at least forgive) my bourgeoisie delight on stumbling upon something as clever (dare I say innovative!! Too far? Too far.) and well-crafted as the Aplàt—the tote bag for holding things flat. Meaning "for dishes" in French (and perhaps a signifier for the demographic this $44 piece of fabric is no doubt aimed at) Aplàt is the brainchild of San Francisco-based designer Shujan Bertrand, where the bags are also made by hand locally.





Posted by Sam Dunne  |  28 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)


To Brits, the frenzied shop-fest of Black Friday (a phenomenon slowly spreading to our shore) seems like an odd tradition to follow on from a day of giving thanks—a sentiment shared by counter movements such as Buy Nothing Day and, I dare say, by a number of our American readers. The absurdity of the custom is illustrated eloquently by British comedian turned political activist Russell Brand in a video lampooning Fox News coverage of the "pilgrimage of capitalism that has found its way to the forefront of American cultural life" in the light of planned Black Friday strike action of Walmart staff for the third year in a row.


If scenes of consumers and striking shop assistants staking out retail centers in the early hours of a winter morning wasn't distressing enough, a Brazilian clothing brand has taken it upon themselves to envisage a future where Black Friday deals are inescapable. The video campaign by Brazilian creative director Antonio Correa for Colombo expounds the problem of high flying executives simply too busy to step out of the office to take advantage of Black Friday savings (ah, Capitalism eh?). The solution to this troubling situation? Fill the skies of Sao Paola's Business District with the apocalyptic sight of headless, poorly articulating human figures hanging limp from whirring drones, of course—completing the picture with price tags on their clothing for our deprived protagonists to glimpse through the windows of their corporate prisons.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   3 Nov 2014  |  Comments (3)


A professional photographer whom I know told me he'd never own any car that wasn't a van. When shooting guerilla-style on the streets of NYC, he explained, it's crucial to have a mobile changing room for the models to switch outfits in.

The desire to not be seen naked in public is not the sole domain of fashion models. For women who exercise outdoors, absent the facilities of a gym, they run into the issue of where to change out of their sweaty workout clothes. (We guys are less picky about who sees us in our boxer shorts in a parking lot.)

Thus endurance athletes and business partners Dennis Caco and April Estrada invented the Undress, a clever assemblage of fabric that allows females to change outfits in broad daylight, all without exposing themselves:

Some of you might underestimate demand for something like the Undress. But take note that Caco and Estrada were looking for a measly $22,000 to get it of the ground, and by the time the project was successfully Kickstarted yesterday, they found $615,663 in the pledge coffer.

For those who missed the Kickstarter, the Undress can still be pre-ordered on its own website.

Posted by Ray  |   8 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)


Created some two generations ago, in the heady pre-hyperlapse days, the Eames' Powers of Ten remains as relevant today as ever before. While the short film makes for an unlikely (or at least hyperbolic) comparison to the work of snow artist Simon Beck, the very concept of scale is precisely why both the film and the large-scale drawings are compelling and accessible to a broad audience.

Having previously seen Beck's work when it made rounds last year, I was interested to have the opportunity to interview him on the occasion of the launch of Icebreaker's inaugural artist collaboration, for which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Protect Our Winters (a non-profit organization for climate change awareness). Commissioned by the apparel company, Beck's interpretation of a ram's horn—a reference to merino wool—features prominently among the geometric artwork that has been printed on the pieces in the new collection.

Over the past decade, Beck has all but perfected his technique of 'drawing' on snow and has recently expanded his enterprise to include works on sand as well; he employs snowshoes to achieve a kind of stippling effect on the former surface and a rake to etch lines in the latter. His only other tools are an orienteering compass and a string-and-anchor to demarcate the 'skeleton' of the piece relative to the center point or vertices. As for the content itself—canonical fractals and patterns of his own design, but sometimes cartoons by request—Beck goes by a thumbnail sketch and gut instinct, rarely drawing out the entire piece beforehand, because (as he dryly notes) "it's too time consuming."




Posted by Moa Dickmark  |   6 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


It's interesting how things sometimes end up in your lap—in this case, it was a bag belonging to a friend of a friend that ended up on my kitchen table, and things developed from there. Those of you who already have read a few of my interviews from this interview series know that I have a tendency to stumble upon people and things that catch my interest. Well, the bag on my kitchen table sparked my interest and led me on a quest to find out more about the woman behind the brand. Turns out, she's been staying in Copenhagen for a few months. Lucky me!

Read on to learn how a woman born and raised in Australia ended up starting a bag brand in Guatemala.


Core77: What inspired you to start designing?

Athena Maroulis: I've always loved colors, patterns and dressing up since I was a kid. My mother is an architect and both of my parents have travelled a lot and have an appreciation for art. Our house was full of paintings, art deco furniture (my dad's obsessed), African jewelry, millinery ribbons (my great grandmother was well known hat-maker) and exotic fabrics amongst other things. I think that growing up in this kind of environment makes you conscious of shapes, colors, textures and how things are put together.

Other than that, I have been sewing since I was around 13 and learned how to make garments. From there, I placed top 10 in the state in my final year textiles and design and knew I wanted to have my own fashion business. It seems that design has been in my life from an early age.

Being exposed to items from so many different cultures most have triggered your imagination on many levels. Do you remember any particular piece that you found extra interesting?

It's hard to pinpoint one piece specifically. I have a huge appreciation for structured lines and symmetry and I think it's due to the art deco buffet table, drink cabinet and side board that we had in our home. However, I think my favorite thing (now and forever) has been dressing up, so I've probably spent countless hours fossicking through and trying on the fabulous pieces in my great grandmother's old costume jewellery box. There are the most amazing chintzy, glitzy, rhinestone encrusted statement jewellery pieces in there. I still find them so fascinating and beautiful.




Posted by core jr  |  28 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

RR-Hannah-Hedman.jpgArtist Hanna Hedman wearing her own work, Loss. Photo: Sanna Lindberg

"Wear it Loud," a bold contemporary art jewelry exhibition at beloved Reinstein Ross's new R|R Gallery in New York's Meatpacking District, is dedicated to exploring the ongoing conversation between fashion and jewelry. Timed to coincide with Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, "Wear it Loud" (on view through October 16) is curated by Bella Neyman and Ruta Reifen, of Platforma. The show presents over 50 pieces of studio art jewelry by sixteen emerging and renowned international artists.


While each piece represents a unique, one-or-a-kind wearable works of art, the show is divided into five categories: artists who reinterpret vintage jewelry through the use of nontraditional materials (the kind often seen in fashion editorials); artists who are inspired by the portrayal of jewelry in fashion magazines; artists who use photography to create their own editorials and act as their own models or brand ambassadors; artists who subvert the logos of popular fashion houses to create original work; and artists who create jewelry that's an extension of the garment.


The concepts behind the work represent a wild range, exploring materiality, politics, gender roles, fashion and personal identity, and the artists present their work in non-traditional materials: silicone, concrete, PVC, found objects, synthetic hair, resin and 3D printed nylon.



Posted by erika rae  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


The fact that Soug Wen uses that adorable little shrugging smiley in her tagline for Gothscreenshots might be my favorite thing of the month—the actual apparel collection coming in as a close second. What's so special about this series of graphic tees and accessories? Well, their patterns are based solely on those hated icons we unfortunately see way too often on our computers. In fact, I think I've seen at least three of them in the time it's taken me to write this post.


For those of you who don't scour the Internet for tech-y humor blogs on a daily basis (guilty), Gothscreenshots was originally a Tumblog focused on capturing the frustrating—and notably depressing—nature of our digital error screens. They've just recently expanded into the world of punny fashion with their line of totes, tees, swimsuits and shift dresses. Insofar as graphic garb comes and goes, GSS captures the way we live now by immortalizing (or at least sartorializing) the blood-pressure-raising iconography of our times. No longer bound to a screen, Gothscreenshots' apparel conjures these digital touchstones when you're flipping through your closet, doing your laundry, or doffing your jacket at the bar.


Posted by Carly Ayres  |  16 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


Look up at the sky on even the clearest, most perfect summer night here in New York City and you might realize that something is missing. Sure, the moon hovers brightly above the skyline, but the stars are getting harder and harder to find. Just check out this Yahoo Answers thread from a girl growing up in Queens: The stars are gone and it's all your fault.

Maybe it's not entirely your fault, but the folks at Slow Factory want you to take a minute and take note of the light pollution taking place in some of the world's largest cities. With their latest series, "From Above," the silk scarf company aims to draw attention to the light pollution caused by manmade luminescence, the electric twinkle from dusk until dawn outshining the distant cosmological beacons of yore. The scarves feature satellite images of the U.S.A., New York, Paris and London at night, printed on silk to show the illuminated urban sprawl in all its glory.

Founded by Celine Semaan Vernon, Slow Factory is a company based in Brooklyn that prints satellite images taken by NASA onto silk scarves. After her family left their home in Beirut, Lebanon, Vernon was always on the move and found the stars to be a source of guidance and comfort. "Another reason why I began Slow Factory is because as I have grown up, I can see fewer and fewer stars in the sky," shares Vernon. "Considering that we traveled a lot and that I never really felt grounded or connected to a home, I felt the need to look at telescope and satellite images of the stars."


Posted by Moa Dickmark  |   7 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


Rakel is yet again one of the creative minds whose development I've been following for a while now. What is it with people coming from Iceland? It seems like they all have been sprinkled with fairy-dust, and Rakel is no exception. She's a wonderful combination of timid and radiant which transfers into her subtle and yet eye-catching design. This interview is a bit different compared with the previous ones in that I had the pleasure of interviewing her in person.

Core77: Tell us a bit about your background

Rakel Solvadottir: I grew up in Akureyri, a town in the north of Iceland. When I finished gymnasium [secondary school], I moved to Denmark to study fashion and textiles, but after the crisis hit Iceland, I moved back home and started my BA study at the fashion department at the Iceland Art Academy


You left Denmark as to study at Iceland Art Academy, how do you feel about your time there?

It's such a young school in comparison to many other design and art schools in Europe, so of course there are some things that could be improved, but it is constantly evolving. You also have to be aware that you can't learn everything in just three years of studies, and it's up to you to take advantage of this time you have and get as much out of it as you can. I'm very satisfied with my time there. The fashion department has been growing rapidly for the last years and you see more and more graduates making a successful carrier within the field.


You can say that you bachelor project was a success, seeing as one of your pieces was worn by no other then the wonderful artist and fashionista Lady Gaga. Has that influenced your life as a designer in any way?

Of course it has. It was a big deal, a great honor and a wonderful exposure for me as a new young designer. But to be honest, I wasn't prepared for it: The dress was not in production and I didn't have a website, so it was hard to truly use this opportunity to the fullest. But all in all, I'm happy that she liked the dress, that she chose to wear it, and that others got to see my work.

Looking at the pieces from your master project, they are very architectural. What made you go in this direction?

I wanted to depict the female form not as curvy and soft, but in a more angular and graphical way. I wanted to show a woman that was strong and edgy....



Posted by Ray  |  21 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)


Along with the nearby ECAL exhibition, Studio Formafantasma's "De Natura Fossilium" at Palazzo Clerici was one of the most buzzed-about projects in the Brera District this year—after all, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin consistently present excellent work during at the Fuorisalone, and this year was no exception. The Eindhoven-based pair often look to their Italian heritage for inspiration; this time around, they took inspiration from the November 2013 eruption of Mount Etna, creating a beautiful collection of tablewares, textiles and small furniture items from the byproducts of volcanic activity.


The project page for "De Natura Fossilium" does a far better job of explaining the work than I ever could, including striking photos by Luisa Zanzani; the "Process" section in particular illustrates the depth of Formafantasma's practice.


Volcanic glass, procured by remelting Etna's rocks, has been mouth-blown into unique vessels or cast into box-like structures that purposefully allude to the illegal dwellings and assorted buildings that have developed at the foot of the volcano. Drawing on their own vocabulary, these solitary glass boxes and mysterious black buildings have been finished with such archetypal Formafantasma detailing as cotton ribbons and Murano glass plaques.


In homage to Ettore Sottsass, the great maestro of Italian design and an avid frequenter of the volcanic Aeolian islands, this new body of work takes on a linear, even brutalist form. Geometric volumes have been carved from basalt and combined with fissure-like structural brass elements to produce stools, coffee tables and a clock."


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  17 Apr 2014  |  Comments (3)


Can a single jacket be all things to all people? Of course not, but perhaps a single jacket design could be all things to all fisherman. A Japanese company called Mountain Research has developed this "Phishing Hoody," which at its core is simply a hooded vest:


But by adding removeable sleeves and a variety of extensions, the user can make the jacket longer or shorter, and choose pocket styles based on the gear they'll be carrying that day.



Posted by Kat Bauman  |  10 Mar 2014  |  Comments (0)


Unveiled at their Paris Fashion Week runway show, Chanel's build out turned a lot of heads. Their hottest Fall/Winter looks? Food labels. The show was held at the beautiful and unsupermarketlike Grand Palais and featured 500 products with creative CC branding. The requisite model action took place throughout the mock supermarket, as sneakered supermodels perused and posed among the sadly not-for-market options.


These clever (fashion) house brand labels were convincing and appropriate. The idea of sleeping, breathing and eating fashion certainly isn't foreign to the dedicated. Can you imagine Trader Joe's adding an impeccable fashion design wing to the enterprise? I think it's a perfect idea. You trust them with your cheese, dried fruit and dish soap, why not your handbags? Here are a few of our favorites:



Posted by erika rae  |  10 Feb 2014  |  Comments (0)

SpecDesign-Lead.jpgWe've come quite a long way from the speculative design of decade's past

Speculative design has long served to illustrate the future and push the frontier of reality, and we're proud to include it as a category in our Design Awards. In fact, last year's winner Extrapolation Factory perfectly captures the kind of uncanny valley of near-future concepts that encourage us to reflect on the present.

We recently caught wind of two speculative designs that we deemed worth sharing. Who knows—maybe they'll show up in our 2014 Awards program.


Posted by Kat Bauman  |  22 Jan 2014  |  Comments (0)


Since the dawn of time, high fashion has recycled low... and congratulated itself for doing so. Antique Japanese boro fabric, increasingly popular among the edgy styluminati, is simultaneously co-branded couture, lowbrow folk tradition, and literally recycled. Boro traces its lineage to the traditional cloths used and reused and re-reused by rural farmers, artisans, craftspeople and laborers between the 18th and 20th centuries. Before cotton was widely available in Japan, the most commonly used fibers came from tough and abundant sources like jute, wisteria and bast. Rough stuff for sure, but resistant to wear and tear. As cotton production increased and cotton products began to spread, used cotton kimonos and other textiles became available at more affordable prices.

kimonofabric.jpgExploded diagram of a kimono, Boro fabric exploding at the seams

Boro_The_Fabric_of_Life_880.jpgTasteful French gallery show of other people's old workwear

To get the most out of these valuable softer fabrics, they were patched over and over, sometimes being torn into strips and rewoven, integrating the tougher materials for reinforcement. Dyed textiles would often be taken apart, redyed and rewoven in multiple iterations, creating a deeply textured and mottled appearance over time. Sometimes you can find signs of a fabric's earlier life, like the darker strip on a blanket where a kimono collar used to be. The most recognizable boro fabrics feature an array of indigo hues, carefully patchworked with strong quilting or darning stitches. (For a good time, look up "sashiko" stitching, which literally translates as "little stabs." Quilting is pretty metal.) The patches on most boro fabric, while varied in color and size, are usually square or rectangular. Coincidence? Nope, nor a cultural obsession with rigid angles. It's another sign of efficiency and good design.



Posted by erika rae  |  12 Dec 2013  |  Comments (6)


No one really likes commuting (except maybe those who have readily accepted "Tube Games" into their daily routine). We might temporarily curb our discontent with a few minutes buried in a good book, slowly head-bobbing to music or eyeing the cute straphanger across the train. It doesn't push past the fact that no one likes being crammed into a sweaty sardine can with a crowd of groggy people on their way to work.

If anyone has come even remotely close to making that scenario the least bit enjoyable, it's industrial designer Siew Ming Cheng. She's put together a commuter get-up that'll keep even the bravest of morning riders at bay. Just make sure you aren't on the receiving end.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Nov 2013  |  Comments (3)


Last week, Levi Strauss & Company announced their Wellthread initiative, "A sustainable design and production process that benefits consumers, apparel workers and the environment." Now we just have to figure out what the heck that process consists of—the press release [PDF] is filled with corpo-speak like this:

By embedding the creative constraints of sustainability into the design process from the start, the company has unlocked innovation and business value in the form of a more efficient and flexible production process. "The design mind is still delighted by these creative challenges that are put to it. But if we put these guardrails on the activity, it actually has tremendous unlock in terms of business potential," says Paul Dillinger, Senior Director of Design at Dockers Brand.

By digging through the announcement's catchphrases, this is what we think Wellthread consists of, on the design front:

Design for Durability. "Turning past experience into future promise, a journey into the Levi Strauss & Co. archives uncovered the key points of stress that demanded reinforcement—from buttonholes to pockets." That's all the detail provided on that matter, but we assume it means they'll design garments with more stitching in those areas.

Anticipating the Rise of Clothing Recycling. This part is a little more clear: Although clothing recycling isn't currently anywhere near as large an industry as plastic and metals recycling are, Levi's is betting it will be in the future, and is incorporating "an innovative new long-staple yarn designed to hold up through the recycling process without sacrificing the strength of the cloth." Presumably their designers have been educated on how to incorporate this new material into the design of new garments.

Modifying Consumer Behavior Through Design. Garments with the Wellthread stamp will apparently have laundry instructions specifying cold water, and the garments themselves will have "added touches such as locker loops on khakis and overlapped fabric at the shoulder seam of t-shirts to encourage hang drying," these things intended to make individual consumers use less energy. We're not sure those things will be enough to change consumer behavior on their own; there will likely be some education and marketing required to drive this point home.

The manufacturing changes of Wellthread are a little easier to understand:


Posted by erika rae  |  29 Oct 2013  |  Comments (0)

Prepper-Jacket-Lead.jpgPhotos by Amélie-Antoinette Tegtmeyer

Talk of the apocalypse never goes out of style (we're guilty as charged, from timely essays to lighter fare, not to mention our 2011 Gift Guide), and we've just found the ultimate survival fashion. French designer Marie-Elsa Batteux Flahault has created a jumpsuit with the 'Prepper'—someone who is actively preparing for the end of the world—in mind. And it's not suited for one sole "end of the world as we know it" scenario. The jacket is fully equipped to defend against all variety of survivalist situation and elemental attack, from starvation and dehydration to water-based natural disasters and extreme temperatures.



Lost at sea after a nautical travesty? The jacket also comes fully stocked with signaling devices. Zombies or rabid animals at your heels? It comes equipped with a knife-like defense mechanism in the right sleeve and first aid supplies, arguably for when you accidentally engage that sleeve knife on yourself. If you look closely, there are instructions printed on the jacket in case apocalyptic panic takes over in your moment of need.

This project is titled "We Are on the Edge" and "is a projection in a dystopian world where prepping becomes trendy and gets integrated in the design DNA of everyday life products," as Flahault says. "The jacket serves as an illustration of this prediction; a fashionable outfit suitable for everyday use but which also possess the features needed during a doomsday scenario."

Check out the video below to see the jacket in action. It's surprisingly form-fitting for all of the utility it carries.


Posted by Ray  |   5 Sep 2013  |  Comments (1)


Regular readers of Core are likely aware that we're big fans of local clothiers Outlier. Founded on their mutual interest in designing cycling clothes disguised as regular ones—think slacks and button-ups—Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens joined forces in 2008 to create a pair of pants; their first shirt came the following year. By combining performance-oriented materials with contemporary tailoring—check out the case study on their dungarees—they've outgrown the bike-commuter niche and it's safe to say they're now making some of the best garments on the market today (I've said it before, but I basically live in three-way shorts during the summer).

Working with longtime collaborator Emiliano Granado, they've recently produced a video of their patent-pending 'pivot sleeve,' which happened to be another candidate for the case study, if not for the fact that there is actually IP at stake. "The Patent Pending Pivot Sleeve was born trying to solve what we thought was an isolated problem, but the solution turned out to have far wider uses. It's quite simply a button up shirt designed to give you a wider range of motion, and in the process it also manages to both fit and stay in place better as well."

We wanted to create a dress shirt using traditional non-stretch shirting fabrics that didn't bind at the shoulders and across the back when we leaned forward on our bikes. We studied everything we could get our hands on, various tailored shirts, mountain climbing jackets and even the gear that George Mallory used in his fatal yet stylish attempt to summit Mount Everest in the 1920's. Ironically we probably learned the most from a couple overpriced high fashion shirts we bought on clearance in the depth of the financial crisis of 2008.

It took them a year of experimentation to create "something that was genuinely new (at least to the extent of our knowledge and research)," for which they were able to file a patent. At first glance, it simply looks like an extra side panel for a dress shirt... but try on one for size (Open Studio every Friday afternoon!) and it's hard not to be impressed by the subtle but noticeable improvement to range of motion.

A one piece sleeve that flows seamlessly into the back of the garment, creating a rear side panel in the process. The pattern piece for the sleeve becomes L-shaped. At the critical pivot point at the shoulder the fabric lies on the bias, naturally stretching exactly where it is most useful. Removing the rear arm seam prevents the shirt from both binding across the back and pulling untucked when you move your arms, so you both look sharper and are more comfortable. Finally the rear side panels allow for a much more refined shaping of the shirt than traditional constructions. A dress shirt designed to look better, fit better and allow you to move without restriction.

The new Air-Forged Oxford, which features the sleeve, has nearly sold out since they introduced it yesterday; curious to learn more about how it came to be, I reached out to Abe, who pointed me to a making-of documentary from '09...


Posted by core jr  |   5 Sep 2013  |  Comments (0)

FrancisBitonti-NewSkins-Verlan-CROP.jpgPhoto: Christrini

Core77 has had the pleasure of chronicling New Skins, a workshop led by designer Francis Bitonti, which took place from July 22 to August 8 at Pratt's Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center in Brooklyn, NY. As a pioneer in the digital fashion design space, Bitonti's practice is primarily concerned with the wearable applications of computationally-based design methodologies and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. His efforts in the classroom are an extension of his work in the studio, a fast-paced, process-centric approach to new and emerging technologies and their potential to yield never-before-scene results.

We've previously published coverage of weeks one and two of the summer intensive, which was sponsored by the Pratt DAHRC, Makerbot and 3D NYC Lab. In addition to the report on the third week and final project, Bitonti has graciously allowed us to present the video documentation of the course as it unfolded this past summer.

By Francis Bitonti Studio

The third week of Francis Bitonti's New Skins: Computional Design for Fashion Workshop at Pratt Institute's Digital Arts and Humanities Research Center brought the students together in the creation of their final garment: the Verlan Dress. All twelve of the students worked together throughout the final week to realize a new design, which integrated different components of the two garments previously selected by the jury at the end of the second week—designer Vito Acconci, fashion designer Jona from INAISCE, and representatives from MakerBot—as chronicled in our Week Two recap.

The students created the geometry for the dress using 3D anatomical models of the human body, then abstracted hidden lines and vectors of the human body (muscles, veins and arteries) into curves that could be manipulated in a 3D modeling environment. The inspiration for turning the body inside out, projecting the interior to the exterior of the body, creating a second skin from what lies underneath led to the name Verlan dress; the French slang word refers to reversing the first and last syllables, turning the word inside out.

Throughout the design process, the students focused on developing a unique formal language that would conform to the body through a procedural algorithm; finding a voice through a new emerging manufacturing paradigm. "We do not want to be teaching technology for the sake of technology," explains Bitonti. "This isn't about training technicians or draftsmen. We are trying to teach students to think through the computer as a medium and develop sensibilities for these new virtual materials."


Posted by core jr  |  30 Jul 2013  |  Comments (0)


Text & photos by Francis Bitonti Studio

Last week marked the start of the New Skins: Computational Design for Fashion workshop, led by designer Francis Bitonti of the famed 'Dita Dress' and facilitated by Pratt Institute's DAHRC. The three-week summer course, which kicked off on July 22, is an intensive exploration of applications for computationally-based design methodologies and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies.

"I want to give the fashion industry the opportunity to see how computation can be more than a means of execution," says Bitonti. "It's a medium for design, a fresh way to think and as much about aesthetics and culture as it is about production and performance."


During week one, the students created a 3D scan of a human body from a model. This scan data will be used to design a garment entirely in a digital environment. The researchers will use this scan data to "grow" garments in the computer using advanced computer algorithms. In coming weeks the digital immersion learning and implementing both advanced 3D modeling and computer programming. "Computer programming is going to be an essential skill for the next generation of designers," Bitonti asserts. "It's how we talk to machines, it's like learning how to sew for previous generations."

The 12 students themselves come from a variety of disciplines ranging from Architecture, Fashion, industrial Design and Fine Art, and hail from all over the world, from as far afield as Israel and Norway.



Posted by Ray  |  18 Jul 2013  |  Comments (1)


For her Master's thesis in the Design Products program at the Royal College of Art, Jule Waibel cleverly employed the multiple meanings of her native language, German: Entfaltung may be translated as "unfold," "expand" or "develop," all of which describe the collection of three items that comprise the project. "Collapsible structures reflect how our world is constantly changing," she writes. "My response is to use folding as part of my design process."

A particular folding technique can transform simple sheet materials into three-dimensional objects, with the additional capability that they can expand and contract. [The] dress [that] changes its shape according to the movement of the body, an expandable bag and an umbrella are all made of Tyvek®, a lightweight water- and tear-proof synthetic paper.

And although the results express the simple metaphor with geometric elegance, Waibel cited a surprising—albeit equally fantastical—source of inspiration: Mary Poppins and her magical bag. Captivated by the way "everything seems to fit inside—a mirror, a hatstand, a plant..." she set out to design a bag that shows "the minimum and maximum possibilities." The umbrella embodies "the beauty and aesthetics of folding," while the dress illustrates transformation, motion and flexibility "in a playful way."





Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Jul 2013  |  Comments (4)


I'm aware there's no real rivalry between the fields of industrial design and fashion design, and with friends in the latter profession it would be rude of me to publicly admit I think ill of that industry; but I can freely say we ID'ers are probably envious of their budgets. So yes, it's with a certain amount of glee that I report the hacking of Vogue UK's website.

Some code whiz with a strange sense of humor has rendered extra, dinosaur-based functionality onto their homepage. As of press time, when you visit Vogue's site and use your keyboard to type in this sequence...

Up, up, down down, left right, left, right, B, A

...and then you keep hitting "A," you get an awesome parade of dinosaurs—velociraptors, I think—wearing an assortment of fee-yancy little hats.

If the hacker responsible is reading this and targets us next, please don't give us anything so tacky; we'd like velociraptors lounging in Eames chairs.

Posted by Teshia Treuhaft  |  22 Apr 2013  |  Comments (1)


The hybrid fashion label/experimental design lab, Continuum Fashion, was first on our radar for their 3D printed bikini manufactured with Shapeways in 2011. Since the initial buzz, the design duo Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang have expanded into software, giving design power directly to the user to create their own garment.

With projects like the Diatom's SketchChair floating around, made-to-order furniture and fashion seem to be carving out their own unique—and maybe even affordable—place in the design world. Continuum's CONSTRVCT and D.dress software gives pretty much anyone a creative platform and foolproof software to act as their own fashion designer with no assembly (or drawing skills) required.


The fashion industry, like ID, is no stranger to digital fabrication—particularly with the rising fame of Iris van Herpen, the 3D printing hype is flowing directly onto the runway. With the D.Dress software, the guesswork is taken out of the avant-garde dress making completely. The CAD-savvy might recognize the D.dress's triangulated surface structure as a consideration more for ease of outputting quick .stl files than either aesthetics or sewing. To Continuum's credit,however, they make a good case that "the triangulation also ensures that almost any drawing will produce an interesting form, and in fact produces good meshes from mere scribbles."



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   4 Apr 2013  |  Comments (7)


For a superheroine, packing must be easy; their outfits are so skimpy there's barely enough fabric to fit into a purse. You could argue that male superheroes also wear costumes that leave little to the imagination, at least in terms of tightness, but it is female superheroes in particular that are depicted in practically stripper-esque outfits.

Fans have noticed, of course. On comic book forums you'll find comments like the following:

For one month I think DC should switch the male/female costume designs in all their titles. Wonder Woman would put on battle armor or something that shows no skin below the neck and Superman will put on knee high boots and skin tight biker shorts.

Others find the skimpy costumes irritating for practical reasons, in true comic book geek style:

...Huntress's "sexy" uniform makes me nuts. She doesn't have superpowers and there are important organs in your abdomen. Somebody cuts or shoots her abdominal aorta and it's all over.

In any case, artist Michael Lee Lunsford has started populating a Tumblr with his illustrations of, well, reasonably-dressed superheroines. Some of them are even wearing proper pants.