It’s Dutch Design Week 2015 and, fittingly, Dutch designer Martijn van Strien has taken this opportunity to launch a new platform for downloadable fashion.
Pitched as a ‘maker community for clothing’, The Post-Couture Collective platform offers downloadable clothing designs that users can customise and self-assemble.
Users can dip their toe into fashion DIY by ordering a kit with the fabric they require ready to be assembled to their exact measurements. Alternatively, the more hardcore makers can take the cheaper option of purchasing the design download and cutting their fabric of choice to size using a laser cutter at a local makerspace.
Once the pieces are cut to size, they neatly slot into one another for a no-sew outfit fit for the catwalk.
It’s best to stick close to the Spacer Fabric the designs are made for, though. This 3D-knitted material is made from recycled PET plastic (found in your average water bottle) and is similar to neoprene.
The upcycled nature of this fabric means the colours come from the original hues of the recycled plastic, so the available options are green, grey-white or grey-black.
As well as being fashion forward, van Strien’s idea can also help cut down on the production and distribution of garments to stores only for the unsold items to be tossed out at the end of the season.
“Post-Couture garments are designed on the spot by our software whenever someone wants to buy one, and thus also produced only when they’re sold,” said van Strien.
What’s more, the futuristic material can be recycled again when wearers go for a wardrobe clear out.
The Post-Couture Collective has launched with six designs from van Strien’s One Off collection for his experimental fashion label MPHVS. However, the long-term plan is to build the range through collaborations with international designers, but the collective is welcoming to all-comers.
“Anyone with interesting ideas about innovations in clothing is very welcome to join,” said van Strien.
“We’re looking for all kinds of people that can bring in ideas for new collections, production locations or ways to innovate our online and offline shopping experiences.”
One of van Strien’s big ambitions is to eliminate a lot of the transport involved in the garment industry by sharing designs digitally and producing them locally from local materials.
“I hope, and think, that offering people a chance to influence and be part of the design and production process of their garments will create much more attractive products than the current mass-manufacturing industry does,” he said.
“Who wouldn’t choose a garment that is designed and made especially for them and their body shape over something standard that everybody else has as well?”
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All images via The Post-Couture Collective