Earlier this month, I wrote about the Kinematic Petals dress, a sleek, impossibly intricate dress on display at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts that could be 3-D printed to fit any body type, no assembly required. Today, you can actually buy one.
Created by Nervous System, a team of ex-MIT generative designers based in Somerville, Massachusetts, the Kinematic Petals dress was made up of 1,600 distinct, scale-like pieces, which acted like a continuous textile when worn. Outside of just the look of the garment, one of the cooler features of the project was that the design of the dress was computer generated. So just by uploading a scan of your body, the dress pattern could change itself so that it looked good on anyone.
Now, Nervous System has teamed up with Body Labs—a company in New York that creates 3-D body models from scans—to sell the Kinematic Petals dress. To tailor the dress to your own body shape, you just go the Body Shape Explorer website on Nervous System's website. There, you drag sliders for measurements like chest, inseam, hips, waist, weight, and height to create a (not quite flattering) model of your body.
Once you've done that, navigate over to Kinematics Cloth, where you can adjust the style of the dress to your body. You can choose the shape of the dress you want, including a one-shoulder version, a cocktail-style dress, or even a skirt or tank top. You can also adjust the density of the dress's petals, and even change the width, height, length, and direction of the individual petals making up the dress. You then save your dress and contact Nervous Systems to have it printed and purchased.
Which is shorthand for, "Don't expect this dress to be cheap." Bodyways tells me the cost of a personalized Kinematic Petals dress will start at $6,000, and go all the way up to $10,000. Though it's expensive, there's reason to be excited about it: No project we've seen better shows how 3-D printing could eventually revolutionize the fashion industry—by making tailors obsolete, and custom clothes as easy to buy as placing an order on Amazon.