The design of swimsuits has evolved dramatically in the past century, going from modest potato sack-like garments to bikinis and Speedos. A new 3-D printed bathing suit by Nadir Gordon, currently a design student in Buenos Aires, hints at where swim fashion could go next. It riffs on traditional swimsuit designs while adding some futuristic frills.
Called “Waves,” the one-piece bathing suit looks like a costume out of The Fifth Element: it has an Elizabethan collar of sorts that resembles wiggly sea anemones; an updated take on the mermaid’s shell bra; and a bustle-like lower half that probably won’t make diving very graceful but looks cool when you’re standing perfectly still. Gordon drew inspiration from avant-garde fashion designers like Iris Van Herpen and Francis Bitonti, who use 3-D printing to transcend the structural limits of fabric and create sculptural, otherworldly garments. The mesh-like material was printed on a MakerBot replicator in 14 separate pieces, which Gordon fused together with a soldering iron.
Waves, which is still in the prototyping stage, is not the sturdiest item of clothing, but Gordon says she’s looking to make it wearable and functional on a daily basis. (Maybe lose the collar?)