The 21st century is the age of innovation, invention, and creation. It’s hard to image nearly two decades ago the late; great Alexander McQueen foreshadowed the future of fashion and what that would mean towards the fashion industry in years to come. During the showing of his Spring/Summer 1999 collection of his namesake label, McQueen explored the Arts and Crafts movement within new technology. At the end of his show, Shalom Harlow emerged on a revolving platform where two robots—industrial sprayers made by Fiat—sprayed her with black, green, and yellow paint, staining her canvas-like dress, only the beginning of a beautiful friendship where fashion meets technology. In 2016, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened their annual fashion exhibition in correlation with the costume institute entitled, Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. The exhibition explored the fashion industry’s infatuation with technology and how it has shaped and changed the way in which the art of fashion is viewed as style and dress.
In 2018, fashion and technology have become a dynamic duo with the likes of Epson, a leader in global textile printing innovation. On Tuesday, February 6, 2018, Epson hosted its fourth annual Epson “Digital Couture” New York Fashion Week event presenting the unprecedented age of design. The insightfully jam-packed day included various panel discussions with industry experts and a grand finale showcasing thirteen hand-selected designers from the Americas using the theme, “Cosmopolitan Couture with Impossible Colors: How Does Your Culture Dress-up?” as they revealed their use of Epson’s state-of-the-art direct-to-garment and digital dye-sublimation printing. Digital dye-sublimation is a relatively new trend within the textile industry that is both fascinating and intriguing. Epson’s SureColor® F-Series printers and sublimation technologies “give fashion, textile, and interior designers alike an accessible means to bring their ideas and inspiration to life.” Through these printers, you’re guaranteed high speed, low-cost solution, vivid imagery, and smooth gradations onto fabric. A match made in heaven for designers to showcase their artistic talent in a unique pathway of design which was a focal point during the panel discussion.
The panel discussion moderated by Wall Street Journal Magazine VP Anthony Cenname featured a delightfully diverse array of industry insiders including Alice+Olivia EVP of Brand Marketing & Communications Aliza Licht, Fashion Critic & Analyst Anna Fusoni, Interior Designer Ryan Korban, and Mark Sunderland of Thomas Jefferson University. Other notable guests in attendance included, Epson President & CEO Keith Kratzberg, Seiko Epson Corporation’s Kenichi Yamamoto, Interior Designers, Emma Snowdon-Jones, and Malgosia Garnys alongside some of New York City’s social elites within the digital and creatives industries. The evening ended on an inspirational, yet an aspirational note of fashion’s future. In an industry filled with repetition and many times interpretation, it was refreshing to see a change in the creative outlook of fashion’s newer generation not only pulling inspiration from the archives of designer’s past but propelling forward in an unfamiliar and unconventional form of design.