3D-Printed Gown for Dita Von Teese

In 2012 we were asked by our friends at Ace Hotels to create a finale piece for their NYC symposium addressing the prospects of 3D printing for the fashion industry. Michael conceived of a gown for his friend, burlesque icon Dita Von Teese, to be made of a simulated 'fabric', rendered entirely through the use of a 3D printer. Previous garments had been printed but while extraordinary, were largely sculptural in nature. Michael challenged his team, including architect Francis Bitonti and the printing company Shapeways, to create a fully articulated gown.


Michael designed a gown inspired by Fibonacci's famous mathematical spiral known as the Golden Ratio, said to quantify ideal proportions of beauty~







Michael provided architect Francis Bitonti with his designs for the gown and its nearly 4000 articulative joints and Francis began writing the CAD code to be provided to Shapeways for printing~



This code was then sent to Shapeways for printing in their Long Island City facility. Due to printer size limitations, the dress was printed in 17 separate sections which were then joined by hand~ 



Cleaning excess nylon dust from the printed shoulder structure~


The articulation of the jointed pieces is revealed~ 


The sections were then sent to us to be finished in our Los Angeles studio. First, the parts were dyed jet black and then joined~



Custom corsetry was built to Dita's measurements~



Assembly of the dress and building in the corset~






And finally, as a finishing touch, the application of over 50K Swarovski crystals in Jet and Jet Hematite by hand~



The unveiling at Ace Hotel New York~



Michael and Dita celebrate the reveal of the gown~



The finished gown~



DitaDita & Michael