Each semester AMFI organizes the Lectra Awards, a way to recognise the talent in our 3D Hypercraft programme. AMFI.nl sat down with a few of this year’s prize winners to talk about their projects.
Offered to both Design and Management students, 3D Hypercraft is a minor providing creative freedom and independence, often with real-life clients in mind. Students create digital patterns and turn creations into virtual 3D prototypes. The end product is a real as well as a virtual collection, whether for fashion or for more applied settings.
Taking advantage of the freedom given to him as a designer, Dan Aitouganov chose to create four pieces for his collection, ‘Woman’s Work’. ‘This minor helped me to find my own handwriting,’ Dan explains, ‘we live in 2015 and yet you notice everywhere that women of the world are living in the shadow of men. The collection puts the focus on celebrating women, thus restoring their power.’ With a collection inspired by artists, including Henri Matisse, Dan wanted to embrace femininity in details: dimension and curvatures, accentuated by elegant silk ribbon embroidery and a striking approach to millinery.
“This minor helped me to find my own handwriting” – Dan Aitouganov
Sarah Bruylant, design student, experimented with her freedom in more ways than one. Challenging the society that tells us to all look the same, her exaggerated and voluminous pieces encourage people to have faith in their own tastes. ‘I like yellow’, she says about the streaks of yellow paint, ‘we should wear what we really like!’ Management student Laurens Meister had a different experience working for the client HUUB, for whom he and teammates Kim Burger and Pia Joosten created the 3 piece collection, ‘Sjørå.’ Laurens discusses the project starting points: ‘The customer competes in triathlons with this gear, looking for movement and flexibility in fabrics and fit – which was the challenge. The technical collection was a fusion between technology and nature. The fluorescent print in early stages of development mimics bioluminescent fishes under water.’
“Dive deep into the world of pattern making” – Laurens Meister
Throughout the minor students use the Lectra 3D Virtual Prototyping software, which proved for many of these “digital natives” to be slightly less intuitive than they’d expected. For Laurens, the difficulty of executing your ideas in the program is dependent on the complexity of the idea’, as also was the case for Sarah and her large, complex shapes.
Sarah said it took her some time to get her bearings: ‘Designers always want to create something new and different, but this program changes the way you think about the things you know.’ Students can experiment with modules of the virtual prototyping software to import body scan data and simulate the fabrics. They can create patterns in 2D and simulate them directly in 3D, and this iterative process continues through development. By adding digital film techniques they create dynamic presentations. Dan advises ‘Just jump in and play with the software.’
“It is the next step in fashion” – Sarah Bruylant
These students say they’ll be using 3D virtual prototyping in their next AMFI project, especially after experiencing a unique sense of freedom in experimentation. Sarah is enthusiastic about the future of the minor saying, ‘it’s a privilege to work with Lectra. It feels like you are learning something important, it’s the next step in fashion!’ For Laurens, this semester was a first glimpse of what it will be like working with a real client in the industry. He feels this type of technology will markedly shape the industry.
For students interested in the 3D Hypercraft minor, the students have a few useful suggestions: ‘Students interested in product development can dive deep into the world of pattern making’, says Laurens. Although revealing that he was slightly scared of the minor at first, Dan adds ‘it’s a good program if you want to be an independent designer. Don’t be intimidated by the technology’. Sarah suggests ‘if you get stuck, do things in real life for a bit.’ Students agree: the 3D Hypercraft minor is a fulfilling option for those who want to take advantage of innovative 3D virtual prototyping for the fashion industry.
Photos provided by the 3D Hypercraft students for use in the article.
Writing by second-year (International) Fashion & Branding student Rachel Douglass.