Big Picture - March 2017 - 8
A Fashionable Affair:
Fashion lovers, press, and curious print service providers flooded the organically
shaped IAC Building on the western edge of Manhattan last month for the third
annual Epson Digital Couture fashion show. Attendees - including camera crews
from E!, writers from Nylon and Forbes, and a few local celebrities - came to
discover what digital textile printing could mean for the world of fashion.
To showcase the machines that make it all happen, Epson displayed its dye
sublimation and direct-to-garment printers near the entrance to the event before
visitors turned the corner and witnessed 13 platforms where models clad in digital
print highlighted the work of North and Latin American designers. Printed
garments included jackets, leggings, and dresses, but also boots, high heels,
backpacks, menswear, and more.
The designers' devotion to digital ran the gamut, as well; some, like Lindsay
Degen (collection pictured on the left), enjoy the way different processes play
together in one design.
"I'm mixing printed denim with real denim, printed quilting with real quilting.
... The idea is to force the viewer to look more closely at the details and enjoy the
textile's construction in addition to the garment's construction," Degen says in a
lookbook that was released prior to the event. The RISD and Central Saint Martins
grad has had her work featured in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show and was once
named to Forbes' "30 Under 30."
Others, like Sarah Richards (collection pictured above), have gone all-in with
the technology. Richards' work is exclusively digitally printed and has been for half
"I approach print design with a desire to push the possibilities of the medium
and to create textiles that traditional methods are incapable of producing," she says
in the lookbook. Richards is also a graduate of RISD and is a native of New York.
Richards says about 90 percent of her work is dye sublimated; she works with a
fabric agent to find textile producers abroad. "Everyone I know is using digital," she
added in an interview with Big Picture. But to date, it seems producing locally is
simply too cost-prohibitive.
Visit bigpicture.net/digitalcouture17 for an extended recap of the event.