Royal College of Art PhD candidates present innovative 3D printed and pleated costumes for Beijing Opera and a week long exhibition from 28 November - 3 December 2017.
Mixing new technology with traditional craft, PhD researchers from the RCA, Mingjing Lin and Tsai-Chun Huang, utilise the newest developments in 3D printing and traditional Eastern pleating to create a never-before-seen costumes for an exclusive performance of Farewell My Concubine by Beijing Opera singers at the RCA on 1 December 2017. This performance will inform wider research into the relationship between movement, the body and fashion.
This research project examines the future of bringing together 3D printing with pleating and the performance of traditional Beijing opera (or Peking Opera) by creating new pioneering costume. These keep the same shape and form of traditional costumes, but offer more subtlety by using monochrome colours and less embellishment, in keeping with contemporary aesthetics. The 3D-printed parts have been printed using a ground-breaking SLS (selective laser sintering) technique from 3D printers Sinterit creating pleated and woven garments that are as soft and pliable as textiles.
Inter-fashionality is a collaborative project and solo-exhibition at the Royal College of Art, discovering the new parameters of 3D printed textile for fashion. The 3D printed garments are co-created by Mingjing Lin and Yingjun Li(associate professor from fashion dept of Tsinghua University).
Qipao is a traditional Chinese dress that was originally wide and loose, it covered most of the woman’s body revealing only the head, hands and tips of the toes. The shape of the garment changed in the 1920s when the area around Shanghai became the center of Eastern trade and local tailors continued shaping and making qipao with traditional ironing technique, but altered the traditional shape into something more form fitting. Prof. Li from Tsinghua University has recently completed extensive research into the history of qipao and compiled his finding in his new book, Qipao History from 1920-1940 that crucially explores the historical and social history of the qipao making industry, as well as the pattern cutting and making techniques.
Mingjing Lin (PhD candidate, Textiles) has reinterpreted the traditional garment with modern 3D printing and parametric modelling. With cultural exchange at the heart of the project, the new garments echo tradition in the way they are both sustainable, as they follow a continuous pattern there is little waste material. Mingling was inspired by the ‘one-piece’ pattern of qipao and inspired by the traditional Chinese ironing technique that helps the flat pattern fitted to the body, and how this ancient method of draping can translate across time and space to create a garment that adapts to any body with the same silhouette and beautiful movement.
The modern garments are printed using SLA+FDM printing technique and modeled using parametric modeling technique. Technical support is provided by Peng Xie (University of South California), technical consultancy by Filippo Nassetti (founder of MHOX), organised by 3W studio, curated by Hexagon Collective. A physical performance by Night Clear 19 and Hexagon collective with dancers Luke Crook and Waddah Sinada will take place at the private view and will create links between tradition and modernity and east and west to highlight similarities and essence, despite cultural differences.