Noa Raviv is a fourth year student at Shenkar College of Design in Ramat Gan, Israel. Her design work, however, belies her youth and is grabbing the attention of people the world over. Raised in Tel Aviv, her work and her ideas are imbued with a cosmopolitan flavor. Her illustrations are captivating and her fluency with both digital and traditional media gives her an ability to create unique and powerful combinations in sartorial expression.
Her most recent project was created for the graduate collection and integrated 3D printed elements, complex flat pattern designs, and the distortion of a grid in order to create a series of garments. These ruffled creations exist somewhere at the intersection of Elizabethan drama, Dale Chihuly’s glass, and the intricacy of a nudibranch. Drawing on inspiration from classical sculpture, in which marble was so skillfully carved as to appear to be flowing fabric, she explores the interaction between the perception of hard and soft, digital and physical.
Raviv has taken the grid, a component of 3D design that is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, and disrupted it, sending curves and whiplash lines through the otherwise static divisions. The forms positively bubble up, like lava flows and hold the viewer in a state of heightened awareness as they threaten to resolve themselves into the stricter grid. Leaving the textiles in black and white, with only the occasional slash of mandarin orange, creates an optical illusion that appears to shift right before your eyes.
“While working on a 3D software, I was fascinated by the grid shown on the 2D screen and the way black repetitive lines define voluminous objects. I’ve translated those lines into textiles that creates this sort of optical illusion.”
In some of the garments it is difficult to distinguish between the pattern on the textile and the 3 dimensional form of the gathered fabric, as it lifts off of the garment’s shell. The form of the body itself is also disrupted by way in which the grid pattern sends messages regarding surface form and adds to the tension between the body and the space it occupies. The model, herself a superbly thin woman made up to be nearly colorless with the exception of her dark red Mae West lips is the perfect blank canvas for
these garments. The neutrality of her nearly curve-less body allows the forms of the garments to cascade and ripple around her as if they have a life of their own.
The highest levels of couture involve the creation of a single exquisite garment for a particular client, never to be repeated – a work of art. The ability of 3D printing to endlessly personalize, and yet easily recreate, brings into question the value that was added through being a unique product.
Finally, the question of perfection is raised and explored, a particularly intriguing inquiry in fashion where the human body itself is so often the subject of reshaping, and where the lines between perfection and unreality have both artistic and ethical implications. These are the core philosophical issues in fashion and, as any good thesis project should, Raviv demonstrates her sophisticated understanding of the arguments and adds her own voice to the discourse.
“Classical Greek sculpture once represented an ideal of beauty. It was copied and reproduced many times throughout history until it became an empty repetition of style and expression. We live in a culture where everything is replicated, so what is the value of an original object?
These are the same questions that pepper conversations about the implications that 3D technologies hold for production and reproduction, and Raviv’s work and ideas are part of a profoundly important debate as we struggle to re-understand the nature of value in light of these new technologies.
Raviv received the Fini Leitersdorf Excellence Award in recognition of the beauty, creativity, and skill demonstrated in her graduate collection. She is currently a finalist in the running for Fashion Designer of the Year through the 3D Printshow Global Awards, sponsored by Stratasys. You can vote for her work, or that of the other finalists by visiting 3D Printshow’s site.
Let’s hear your thoughts on these incredible works of art and fashion in the Raviv’s 3D printed fashion forum thread on 3DPB.com.