Milliner Gabriela Ligenza, who originally trained as an architect and interior designer, has launched a collection of 3D printed hats to coincide with British horse racing event Royal Ascot.
Ligenza, who has previously worked with artisans and bespoke textile makers, has now collaborated with leading 3D designers to create her 2014 Autumn / Winter collection.
"Working with such a cutting edge technique as 3D printing has allowed me to create what was previously impossible with traditional millinery," Ligenza told Dezeen.
Her collaborators in the project included with mathematical art scholar, Francesco de Comite from the Lille University of Sciences and Technology, digital animator and storyteller Joaquin Baldwin and Adam Mellotte from Inner Leaf who provides 3D modelling services for the fashion and TV industries.
While a wide range of materials can be used in 3D printing, in this case the large size of the hats limited the choice of materials to nylon and stainless steel. Nylon was the obvious choice due to its lightness, flexibility and ability to hold fine details.
One hat in the collection, commissioned by Great British Racing, incorporates a poem written for the Royal Meeting by racing poet Henry Birtles. Another, a wedding hat, is made from the words of John Tessimond's poem Day Dream. Adam Mellotte translated the designs into a printable file, exchanging ideas and test versions with Ligenza via email and Skype.
Other hats reference forms and mathematical formulae found in nature, including cardioids, nautilus and mobius strips.
"With clever balance, old and new crafts and techniques can exist in harmony. Technology, when applied correctly, needn’t conflict with centuries old art forms," said Ligenza.
The designer has also worked on the adaptation of a mathematical art piece by Francesco de Comite into a Cirrus hat, collaborating over email, Skype and through visits to Lille University in person. "This is definitely something I’m going to continue," she said.