Monika Vaverová dares to dream. The talented designer got hooked on fashion through her interest in science fiction and fantasy. “I like to try new things,” she says. “Primarily I focus on costumes for art projects, sci-fi or futuristic ones, which are very close to technology.”
Her Eagle Borg creation here is a case in point — a leatherette, lycra and 3D-printed plastic outfit that’s a striking blend of eagle and cyborg. There are superhero-style elements to the design too, with echoes of an armoured Lord of the Rings elf.
Like Anouk Wipprecht’s 3D printed creations, Monika’s work shows what happens when a wild imagination and fashion technology collide.
Monika dreamed of becoming a fashion designer at secondary school, where she learned the basics of tailoring and pattern processing. However, she quickly came to realise that designing mass-market, ready-to-wear clothes didn’t interest or challenge her. Instead, she wanted to focus on more futuristic, cutting edge creations.
Eagle Borg is one such project, an outfit custom-fitted for Czech singer Markéta Poulíčková who wore it at the Prague fashion show Fashion.stl in 2015.
Its distinctive helmet and feathered collar were both 3D printed using a DeeGreen 3D printer and 800g of PLA plastic. Monika deliberately left the outfit’s ‘feathers’ untouched in order to show off the angular beauty of the raw 3D printed product.
From sketch to finished dress, Eagle Borg took four months to complete and Monika partnered with Martin Žampach and Tomáš Kubata at YSoft be3D to create its unique, 3D printed elements.
“It was my very first work with be3D printers,” she told IQ. “Getting familiar with [3D printing], however, was a very inspiring experience for me. It’s definitely not the last time that I will use this technology in my work.”
In fact, Monika is currently working on a new sci-fi costume project, which will use more 3D printed elements than Eagle Borg. She also admits that she is intrigued by the idea of ‘smart’ clothes, which often include moving parts or feature integrated sensors.
“I would like to get networked with people engaged in this field,” she says. “I would like to join in. I realise this work is demanding. It takes a lot of time to study and produce [smart garments].”
Of course, while projects like Eagle Borg are a great way of drawing attention to the potential of fashion technology, Monika sees 3D printing as a niche solution for one-off clothing projects rather than a solution for mass market clothing. So don’t expect to be wearing an Eagle Borg any time soon.
Instead, Eagle Borg exemplifies a growing fashion technology trend. From 3D printed women’s pumps by architect Zaha Hadid and UN Studio‘s Ben van Berkel, to Anouk Wipprecht’s robotics-inspired Spider Dress and Chromat‘s biomimicry-infused Adrenaline Dress, daring designers are turning to new tools and materials to make original garments.
As all these examples show, 3D fashion technology can bring a new dimension to clothing, allowing people to create their own garments or to produce costumes that wouldn’t look out of place in a science fiction movie or a comic book.
While Monika started her career as a designer of men’s clothes, women have become a great inspiration for her work. “I like strong characters, regardless of whether they are men or women,” she explains. “But I strive to include elements that emphasise the strength and self-confidence of a woman.”