In a mash-up of the old and the modern, the world of burlesque met 3D technology on Monday night in New York City when pin up and style icon debuted the world's first 3D-printed dress at the Ace Hotel. The ageless Von Teese appeared to be completely nude under the dress but revealed she was wearing a flesh-covered corset.
The dress, designed by Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti, was both a work of art and an engineering feat. It was printed with hardened powdered nylon (so that Von Teese was still able to move around in it), then covered with 13,000 black Swarovski crystals and covered in black paint. Schmidt, who previously designed 's infamous bubble dress, worked almost exclusively on his iPad and collaborated with Bitonti via Skype.
We were an interesting team because I take things that are virtual and I figure out what to make them of. To do that you have to break it down into individual components so it can become something sensual, taking this hard plastic material and making it flow and sexy and undulate around the body. The curvature is always changing as she moves. As far as difficulty goes, if you could imagine creating a piece with 3,000 unique moving individual parts.
Von Teese, Francis went on to say, was the muse for the gown, but they exaggerated her famous shape by taking their inspiration directly from 13th-century thinker Fibonacci's "Golden Ratio" theory.
Who knew ancient history and the future could combine to look this good?
The dress will be going on a museum tour after this, where it will most likely spend its days annoying all the other exhibits by telling stories about that one time it got to hold up Dita Von Teese's cans.