Kiara Gounder: 3D printed fashion

Fashion designer Kiara Gounder integrates advanced 3D printing technology and natural shapes into her designs.

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“I am really pushing the boundary of creativity, coupling innovation with good designs,” says fashion designer Kiara Gounder.

Gounder studied fashion at the Durban University of Technology and began experimenting with 3D printing technologies for use in her dissertation project. Her interest in how 3D printing could be used in fashion was piqued by designer Iris van Herpen’s collection of sculptural and intricate printed pieces in Paris Fashion Week 2014.

“I kept that technology at the back of my mind throughout my studies,” says Gounder. “I viewed my B.Tech as my chance to explore my own curiousity about the technology and try to experiment with it.”

The practical component of Gounder’s dissertation became her first capsule range, Digital Nature, in which she integrates 3D-printed garment components and accessories into her fabric-based clothing designs. The shapes of the printed items explore symmetry in nature, using silhouettes based on microscopic images of fossils and plant and insect cells. The 3D printed components are monochromatic to fit in with the clean lines in Gounder’s range. Gounder exhibited Digital Nature at Design Indaba Expo 2015, as part of the Emerging Creatives programme. 

“I want to take this topic one step further,” says Gounder when asked about the future for her label, “and possibly collaborate with a 3D printing service provider who can print flexible materials to create a range or garments. That's how I want to move forward.”