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Zac Posen designs 3D-printed rose petal dress for Met Gala

Zac Posen 3D prints rose-petal dress for Met Gala

American fashion designer Zac Posen has created a dress constructed from 3D-printed petals, which was worn by British model Jourdan Dunn at this year's Met Gala in New York.

The bespoke gown features 21 unique overlapping petals, each around 50 centimetres in size and weighing 450 grams. Each petal is estimated to be worth around $3,000.

Built in sets of three, each petal took around 100 hours to print using a precision stereolithography machine at low-volume 3D-printing specialist Protolabs' facility in North Carolina.

The petals were printed in a durable white plastic, before being primed, sprayed with a colour-shifting paint commonly used for cars, and finished with a clear gloss. The printing and finish of the entire dress took more than 1,100 hours.

Zac Posen designs 3D-printed rose petal dress for Met Gala

The dress was worn by Dunn at the gala to mark the opening of this year's exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Its body was created by bolting the petals to a frame and fastened them in place on a modular cage, which can't be seen from the outside.

The frame was 3D-printed in titanium using electron beam melting technology at the Cincinnati plant of GE Additive, the additive manufacturing arm of General Electric.

Designed to be a 3D re-creation of Dunn's body, the dress weighed nearly 14 kilograms and can be reconfigured to create a longer design with the addition of up to 16 further petals.

"I dreamt the collection, GE Additive helped engineer it and Protolabs printed it," said Posen.

Posen dressed four further members of his party in 3D-printed outfits created with the same team of collaborators, including a 3D-printed bustier that took more than 200 hours to complete, a palm leaf collar produced in the same manner, a gown with 3D-printed embroidery and a vine-pattern headdress.

American actress Zendaya was also a guest at the event on Monday night, wearing a dress designed by Tommy Hilfiger that changed colour from grey to a luminous pale blue at the wave of her stylist's wand.

The theme of the Met Gala and rose-hued exhibition at the museum's Costume Institute this year is Camp: Notes on Fashion, exploring the influence of camp culture on clothing across the centuries.

Image courtesy of Getty.