Sri Lankan fashion designer Kasuni Rathnasuriya, founder of contemporary womenswear line KÛR, recently showcased her latest collection for spring/summer 2016 (SS16) at the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival in Australia. The collection was a mix of past and future with the incorporation of traditional Beeralu lace and 3D printing. To make her vision for this collection a reality Kasuni partnered with Sri Lanka’s first rapid prototyping firm, 3D Concept Studio. With their help she was able to 3D print the unique eyewear the models wore on the runway.
“I wanted to create a phenomenal look for the SS16 collection,” said kasuni. “As a clothing label we are very much open to new technology. I wanted to bring conventional and non-conventional elements together to create a phenomenal look. If you look at the SS16 collection it has handcrafted lace incorporated clothing, 3D printed accessories/eyewear and handmade leather shoes. And it’s all made locally. We want to be futuristic as the fashion business is heavily influenced by technology today.”
New to the technology herself Kasuni took advantage of 3D Concept Studio’s wealth of experience and design features to take her concepts from the drawing board to completed accessories. The learning experience has convinced her of the future of the technology within the fashion industry. “I believe in 20-30 years down the line we will all have a 3D printing facility at home and we’ll be printing our own pieces. Or downloading artwork from different designers from different parts of the world and printing our own accessories at home. That’s the extreme we could go with this technology. This will change a lot of things in the fashion business just like how social media is being used to advertise brands,” said Kasuni.
The influence of technology on fashion is clearly evident with the growing trend of 3D printing in the industry from big name brands to haute couture. These experiments and fledgling attempts with the technology move the boundary between imagination and reality and slowly evolve the capabilities of designers and what they are able to offer. “3D printing holds a lot of potential for fashion. It releases designers from the constraints of traditional manufacturing and allows them to explore a wider array of shapes and designs. What was impossible is no longer the case. Their only boundary now is their imagination,” said Nissanga Warnapura, CEO and Founder of 3D Concept Studio.
Kasuni’s label KÛR is an ethically conscious brand that respects local traditions, heritage and craftsmanship. A labour of love the label helps to revitalise a dying craft in Sri Lanka while empowering the Beeralu weavers, mainly women, in the south of Sri Lanka.
3D Concept Studio was founded in 2013 and offers services in 2D and 3D design, 3D scanning, 3D printing, 3D fabrication and laser cutting.