Iris Van Herpen

3D printing is hot. We can’t stop hearing about it. How it will be the future of food, of home-wares, of guns. Well you need to start putting 3D fashion seriously on your radar. Fashion designer Iris van Herpen just won a coveted Dutch design award for her 2013 Voltage Couture Collection, which featured two outfits that had been 3D printed.

Van Herpen collaborated with Neri Oxman from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to make the pieces, which combined hard and soft materials, something that’s tricky enough to do with “regular” materials, but way harder when you’re talking about the stuff used by 3D printers.

Van Herpen has created 3D fashion before, but this award really makes people sit up and pay attention to her body of work. Designers are taking notice, and so should you.

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“I feel it’s important that fashion can be about much more than consumerism, but also about new beginnings and self-expression,” said Van Herpen in a press release. “I find the process of 3D printing fascinating because I believe it will only be a matter of time before we see the clothing we wear today produced with this technology.”

Fashion’s future is changing. We’re moving away from brick-and-mortar stores to online shopping and we’re seeing people innovate in this space in all sorts of ways. From Google Hangouts where fashion designers speak straight to you to designers who make clothes that change color based on your mood (yes, a real thing), this area is constantly evolving.

3D printing takes all the elements of fashion that you know; color, material, shape, and puts it together to make something tangible. For now, it’s about buying what other people have made, but in the future, you might be looking to print out your own dress at home. Sure, that’s a little simplistic, but this technology could really change the way you dress.