Photo: Ariel EfronBy Amber Kallor
We bring you the future of the classic two-piece:The first 3-D printed bikini.
The founders of Continuum Fashion, Jenna Fizel and Mary Huang, refer to their company as part fashion label, part experimental design lab. Together (with the help of a computer and a 3-D laser printer) they "reinterpret textile design through a computational lens," says Fizel. What does that entail exactly in nontech terms? Inspired by how a beaded necklace coils in a compact but organized way, Fizel wrote a computer code that takes into consideration 3-D geometry and edge conditions to create a pattern of interlocking circles. Using a material called nylon 12 (for which their bathing suit, the N12, is named), the printer uses lasers that melt the nylon into the shape of a bikini.
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Since this material is also used in the making of fighter jets, we assumed it wouldn't be comfortable on the beach. However, Fizel says that the nylon becomes softer and more flexible as it gets wet. The best part: This suit will never sag in the wrong places (like around your bum). The material is printed in the exact shape of your body, and unlike regular fabric, the interlocking circles and system of coils respond to areas that need more support and flexibility (i.e., your breasts and derriere).
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Each of their ready-to-wear bikinis (ranging from $250 to $300 for the top and $200 to $350 for the belted bottom) is composed of four pieces that lock together. The only part that's sewn on by the design team is the lining of the bottoms. They also have a bespoke option that creates a 3-D model of your body and a bikini created to your dimensions ($1,500).
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We think this fashion concept paves the way for what's to come in 20 years (or less)-you'll be able to order, print out and wear clothes that are guaranteed to fit your body. The best part: You don't even have to try them on first. Which means you won't have to face a dimly lit dressing room with an armful of questionable ensembles ever again (and bathing suit shopping, in particular, will be especially less painful). We can't wait.
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