For the second time, Belgium 3D printing powerhouse Materialise and multi-award winning fashion designer Melinda Looi have teamed up to launch yet another artistic and technological breath taking collection entitled “GEMS OF THE OCEAN” at Meckler Media’s 3D Print Week, New York.

For this collection Melinda Looi teamed up with Samuel Canning of Griffith University. Canning an expert in 3D print design developed the technical concept as well as modelled the undisputed highlight of the collection and what is probably one of the world’s first full length 3D gowns, printed in a single part.

The gown which was specifically folded to fit into the much smaller 3D printing machine, came out of the machine fully assembled and was then finished off by Melinda Looi with over 5000 Swarovski crystals.

When asked what was the biggest challenge to overcome when developing the dress Canning said: “The Gown represented a multitude of technical challenges. Working with a design visionary, such as Melinda, probably the single challenge that encompasses the whole project was creating a design the captured the magic of Melinda’s concept, whist developing a design outcome that was in every way suitable for 3D Printing.  This project has been fascinating, and beyond doubt, been the highlight of my design career.”

Inspired by the iridescent shades of the sea and the tropic colours of coral reefs, Melinda brings to life such an exotic world with this collection, GEMS OF THE OCEAN – one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring wonders of the nature, with sparkling crystals set in flowy chiffons and lace in the colours of the sea. The collection consists of Coral Boleros (Shoulder pieces), Dive into Me (Gowns), Coral Colonies (Shoes), Swim Corals Swim (Bracelets) and Whisper to me (Earrings).

”The Ocean has always held a certain allure to me. I’m not the strongest swimmer, but I will never forget my first snorkelling experience in the crystal clear water on a beautiful island west cost of Malaysia. There is something so magical about the vibrant colours that transmute and ‘dance’ in gentle waves that wash over reef systems in clear seas. I wanted to bring the enchanting underwater world to the land above.”