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3D Printed Black Dress

Innovative Materials Collection & Sustainability

Wearable technology that can change the planet

From Bionic Yarn to Biosynthetics

No other college has a collection like this one. From bionic yarn and biosynthetics to transparent leather and wearable circuits, our permanent, growing Innovative Materials Collection has been on the forefront of sustainability and new technologies that are quickly changing fashion--and our planet’s--future, for the better.

Inspiration Comes in Many (Awe-Inspiring) Forms

Many items are on display for students to examine up-close, including two denim pieces from Pharrell Williams’ collection for G Star Raw that are made from a textile woven with recycled ocean plastic. Students can also touch textiles made from salmon skin, coffee grounds, milk proteins, orange fibers, pineapple, mushrooms, recycled cassette tape, and bark cloth as well as samples of Wearable Tech, such as the Levis/Google Commuter Jacket and the Tommy Hilfiger Solar Panel Coat, which they use for inspiration as they pursue their own sustainable concepts.

She Built It, They Came

Industry professionals, professors, researchers, and students from as far away as Osaka and Amsterdam also visit to see, feel, and be inspired by the Innovative Materials Collection, curated by FIDM’s Textile & Materials Manager, Kristine Upesleja. Kristine has over 20 years’ experience in the fashion and design industry as a lecturer, educator, researcher, connector, curator, and visionary.

The Library works with companies such as Hugo Boss, Adidas, C.P. Company, Stone Island, Lenzing, Vitra, Patagonia, Prana, Textile Exchange, JS Apparel, Schoeller, Cocona, Recover, S3 Studios, Guess, Commune, and Gary Cass at Fermented Fashion, to name a few.

For Public Consumption

Each fall, the FIDM Library hosts the popular Innovative Materials Exhibition, which features panels, visiting speakers, and an opportunity for the public to see some of the most innovative products in the collection, as well as special visiting pieces, such as the world's first 3D printed dress designed by acclaimed costumer Michael Schmidt for performer Dita Von Teese.

Guest speakers have included Michael Schmidt, designer for celebrities such as Beyonce, Madonna, and Cher; Isaac Nicholson, this year’s H&M Foundation Global Change Award winner; Berlin-based wearable tech company ElektroCouture; Sabri Sansoy, creator of the Marchesa Cognitive Dress; and Julia Koerner, internationally acclaimed architect, and 3D designer for Chanel, Swarovski, and the movie Black Panther.