When Fashion Meets Tech

Text by Challenge Online

fashion-1 FashionisTech 2017 held was in conjunction with Singapore’s first-ever fashion technology summit

 

One thing that’s obvious this side of the millennium is the growing intersection of fashion and technology. This has already led to the rise of wearable tech items like wrist-worn fitness trackers, as well as innovative fashion manufacturing and marketing methods. So it was only a matter of time before Singapore hosted its first-ever fashion technology summit.

FUZE Fashion Technology 2017 took place at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre on 16 and 17 March 2017. The event was a multi-agency effort organised by the Textile and Fashion Federation (Taff) and presented by top global event series Decoded Fashion, with the support of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Infocomm Media Development Authority, DesignSingapore Council and Workforce Singapore.

fashion-2 Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ms Sim Ann launching the event

More than 300 delegates from Singapore, Southeast Asia, Korea, China, the United States and South Africa attended the two-day affair. Through a mix of presentations, in-depth panel discussions, conversations with global experts and masterclasses, they gained new insights on how businesses can use technology to drive future innovation and growth.

Also during the summit, Taff — together with IE Singapore — debuted the second edition of its FashionisTech showcase. First launched in 2015, the exhibition features homegrown fashion brands that are making their mark through innovative collaborations with technology companies.

Challenge speaks to a few up-and-coming designers whose digitally-printed collections were showcased at FashionisTech.

fashion-3 Checking out a print creation of Pleatation, developed in collaboration with Epson

Chainless Brain

The latest collection from this three-year-old online jewellery store is Series 2, created in partnership with Singapore-based 3D Printing Studios. Sketches on paper were turned into 3D-printed wax models — “masters” in jewellery parlance — using computer-aided design software. The masters were then cast in sterling silver to make rubber moulds, which were used for mass jewellery production.

“With 3D printing technology, I can produce wax masters in less time and to the most precise measurements,” says Alverina Wijaya, Chainless Brain’s owner and designer. “It also means less materials wastage and less cost. Whatever I send to the craftsmen for mass production is already the ‘final’ piece, so they don’t need to make jewellery samples.”

Pleatation

For her Resort 1718 collection, Chiang Xiaojun — who founded Pleatation in 2012 — used Epson Singapore’s direct-to-garment (DTG) and dye-sublimation printers. DTG printers are similar to inkjet printers, except that the ink is directly applied onto textiles instead of paper. Dye-sublimation printers transfer digital artwork from the computer to an apparel item via a heat press, with specially-formulated ink permanently dyeing the fabric.

“Digital printing allows a lot of creative space in offering customisations. Prints can be made on a per-request basis where customers choose a design that they like and have it printed onto the apparel,” says Ms Chiang. “Such technologies can also strengthen a brand’s identity by having its logo subtly printed on the textiles.”

fashion-4 Chainless Brain uses 3D printing technology to produce its line of jewellery

Wai Yang

Wai Yang also worked with Epson Singapore for her eponymous label’s Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. Utilising the company’s DTG and dye-sublimation textile printing technologies as well as conventional screen printing — by which ink is forced through a woven mesh onto the fabric, except in areas blocked off by a stencil — the result is an eye-catching collection featuring vibrant colours and contrasting textures.

“The digital printing techniques can produce high-resolution patterns and true-to-colour images,” says Ms Yang, who started her label in 2016. Because of the “fast turnaround and shortened production time” associated with digital printing, she is also able to bring her designs to market more quickly.

fashion-5Wai Yang employs dye-sublimation textile printing technologies as well as conventional screen printing

 

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