University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Carol McDonald

Carol McDonald

Carol McDonald is a new contributor to the University of Fashion. She, along with her husband, are owners of Gneiss Concept, a consultancy that focuses on mass customization of footwear and apparel manufacturing. She has over 30 years of experience in Manufacturing and Sustaining Engineering covering Consumer products (Starbucks, Intermec, Microsoft), Medical equipment (Physio Control), Testing equipment (Fluke Networks), Fitness products (Precor) and Design Innovation (PNNL). She has attended Shoe School in Port Townsend, Washington and Modo software training at Pensole, Portland, Oregon. Carol McDonald graduated from University of Washington, Bothell, in Electrical Engineering (B.S.), from Oregon State University in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.), from University of Oregon in Mathematics (B.S.). Carol McDonald is co-chair of IEEE 3D Body Processing Industry Connections Group which brings together diverse stakeholders from across technology, retail, research and standards development to build thought leadership around 3D body processing technology standard, https://standards.ieee.org/industry-connections/3d/bodyprocessing.html Her three grown children are involved in STEM fields ranging from distributed power generation engineering, a High School science teacher, and computer programming. She enjoys family ski trips, adult rec soccer and quilting.

Finally…Out of the Closet!

- - Fashion Tips

When was the last time that you really looked in your closet?  Did it take a pandemic for you to go through it and toss out or donate things that you never wore or haven’t worn in, forever? Well, that’s a start. But here’s something more to ponder.

Image credit: https://thecardswedrew.com/diy-closet-makeover/

In 2018, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and their student collective called Dirty Laundry, developed the Closet Mass Index (CMI) (borrowing its name from Body Mass Index – BMI) based upon the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dirty Laundry’s mission is to change the educational environment and the fashion industry, by initiating a dialogue and collective action centered around sustainability and the impact that our individual purchases have on the environment.

Image credit: From the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry guide

According to Dirty Laundry, “most clothes are bought in the spur of the moment: you fall in love with an item, perhaps without realizing that you already have 3 or 4 pieces alike. It becomes difficult to make conscious decisions when you don’t know what really is in your closet.”

Whether you have a small closet or a walk-in, have your ever thought about the items in your closet in terms of categories? For example:

  • How many are new
  • How many are unworn
  • How many were gifted (hand-me-downs, swapped items)
  • How many are secondhand
  • How many were mended
  • How many were made locally
  • How many were made on your continent
  • How many were made overseas

This is the idea behind AMFI’s Closet Mass Index. By using their worksheet to take stock of what’s in your closet by category, the CMI provides insight into the ‘health’ of your closet. According to Dirty Laundry, “It is a tool for measuring its volume in a qualitative way. The word qualitative is key here, since it’s not just about knowing the number of items, but also their origins, their journey into your closet and ultimately your own buying behavior.”

Image credit: From Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry Closet Mass Index Guide

Dirty Laundry’s worksheet and the exercise of categorizing what’s currently in your closet is referred to as ‘7 Easy Steps’ (see list below). Once you have sorted your closet items into categories and completed the count, you will be able to ‘reflect’ on the contents and ask yourself a series of questions that will help you explore: your preferences, any future purchases and provide you with an accounting so that you can focus on your moral responsibility to the planet.

Questions include:

Which is the newest? Which is the oldest? When were they bought? Which are the favorites?  How many were made: locally? On your continent? Overseas?  What changes do you want to see in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years?

Where do you get most of your clothes? Which materials do you prefer?  Do you see a pattern in the items you do not wear?  What is your main trigger for buying (price, style….)?  What do you do with the clothing you do not wear/want anymore?

Image credit: From Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry Guide-7 Easy Steps and Reflection questions

As you can see, Dirty Laundry’s CMI worksheet refers to ‘jumpers’ (British English), which in American English are sweaters. So, I took the liberty of creating my own CMI that’s geared toward the American women’s wardrobe. On the worksheet below, I replaced Jumpers with Sweaters/ Sweatshirts, I added ‘Bottoms’, which encompasses Jeans, Pants, Shorts, Sweatpants and Leggings, and I added an additional category for Sports/Exercise clothing.

Image credit: UoF’s revision of Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry Closet Mass Index Worksheet

 

My Own Reflections: Beyond the Closet

After sorting, categorizing and counting the items in my own closet, the CMI exercise gave me a perspective as to my buying habits and the impact of ownership of these items. In the end, my reflections tended to be more philosophical.

Maybe, due to COVID (it’s just been that type of year), I found that I learned so much by looking into my closet. I came up with the following questions and realizations:

  • How had COVID changed my closet? For one, all of those work blouses would have to wait another day.
  • I could count on one hand how many garments were made in the U.S. and those that were, were not made recently. I asked myself, what did that mean for U.S. garment workers?
  • How many of the clothes in my closet were seasonal and how many were year around? Should I recycle those that were only seasonal? Were they even recyclable?
  • How many days per year could something be worn? Should this be an important consideration when buying a garment?
  • I learned that my sports and exercise clothing contained a lot of Lycra, which make them harder or potentially impossible to recycle based on current methods. The questions became: how many of my garments are 100% of one material and how many were blends?  It is known that blends are harder to recycle or upcycle. I asked myself, how do we improve the recyclability of blended garments? 
  • I did some research and found out that the BBC had a good article on how hard it is to recycle clothing. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle. This reminded me that I definitely needed to change my purchasing options in the future.
  • I sadly discovered garments that I had never even worn and yet I kept them in my closet regardless.
  • I also found items like my son’s vest from when he was a ring bearer. He is married now himself and it was clearly the sentimental side of a mom hanging on to something that someone else could possibly use.
  • There were other non-clothing items in my closet, but could they be recycled? Objects like plastic hangers, suitcases, and bike helmets. Things with a combination of materials. What should I do with them?
  • I also pondered the need for walk-in closets at all, and what the impact of having one is to the architecture of housing and therefore to the heating/cooling costs of buildings? What does possessing a walk-in closet mean for the expected rate of garment consumption?
  • I learned that building operations account for 28 percent of carbon dioxide emissions annually, per the United Nations Environment Program. What percentage of floor space in housing are closets? How much energy does it take to keep our clothes comfortable? I found these links very helpful https://architecture2030.org/buildings_problem_why/

https://archive.curbed.com/2019/9/19/20874234/buildings-carbon-emissions-climate-change

I was empowered to make changes in my life as a result of this exercise and therefore want to encourage everyone to take the CMI challenge. I can assure you…you’ll be very happy you did! Maybe you’ll even want to make it your New Year’s Resolution?

 

Other Closet Solutions

For those of you who are handy with a sewing machine (which everyone who’s reading this UoF blogpost probably is), Dirty Laundry suggests that you take an accounting of how many pieces in your closet that you can:

  • Upcycle
  • Mend
  • Makeover
  • Tailor
  • Swap

Image credit: From Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry Guide

Image credit: From Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Dirty Laundry Guide

For more on how to upcycling and recycling, be sure to check out UoF’s new Sustainability Series by Noor Bchara, founder of Upcycle Design School. Learn how to become a more sustainably-minded global citizen.

Together we can reduce our carbon footprint and I think that’s the best New Year’s Resolution of ALL!

So, tell us…what does your closet have to say about YOU?

 

REMINDER

We only offer our book & video subscription promo discounts ONCE A YEAR!!!

Offers expire 12/31/20

$40 off our Yearly subscription (was $189 now $149)

https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/ Promo Code: Learn1

$5 off the first month of our Monthly subscription (was $19.95 now $14.95) https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/ Promo Code: Learn2

 

35% off any of our books: Beginner Techniques: Draping or Pattern Making or Sewing

https://www.universityoffashion.com/3-book-series-ad-lkp-discount/ Promo code: Uof35

TECHNOLOGY: Big News in 3D Design & Fabrics

Dancing like the wind or standing in a simple halter shift. Both show the importance of drape & modeling in 3D.  (Courtesy https://browzwear.com/products/v-stitcher/)

Could This be the Key to Bringing Manufacturing Back Home?

If you are a faithful University of Fashion blog-reader, then you know that we’re BIG proponents of preserving the art & craft of fashion design through our vast library of hands-on lessons, lectures and computer design lessons. Since our launch in 2013 we now have 500 videos from which anyone can learn. And learn they do. We are proud to say that tens of thousands of students, teachers and aspiring designers from 144 countries are actively using our site, a 45% increase over last year, mainly due to Covid-19 and the switch to distance learning classes at many schools.

Another reason we started UoF was to promote domestic manufacturing, with a special focus on sustainability. Thankfully, here in the U.S., we are seeing more and more companies bringing their production back home. And in many cases it’s upstart designers who are leading the pack.

 

3D Design, Fabrics and Materials

We also believe that 3D design software will be a major factor in helping us reach our goals of a greener planet by making less samples and by pre-selling clothing and accessories from 3D avatars on a computer, iPad, phone and/or from a virtual runway show.

As you may have read in our past blogposts, 3D Revolution in the Fashion Industry, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Fashion and Augmented Reality (AI) for Fashion Retail, 3D is fast becoming the future of fashion.

However, one of the biggest hurdles with 3D design software has been the ability to capture the realisticdrape of different types of fabrics and a limited fabric library to choose and design from. Well, we are happy to report…the times, they are a changin’

Of the several 3D software and scanning providers out there, this blog post will focus on advances by Browzwear (one of the providers of 3D software noted in the UoF 3D series) and Vizoo (a provider for scanning and digitizing materials), and on key developments in their partnership.

 

Browzwear’s and Vizoo’s Announcement

Browzwear has extended its partnership with Vizoo and is taking it a step further. The raw physical data, extracted by the Fabric Analyzer by Browzwear (FAB), can be utilized in VStitcher and combined with U3M software from Vizoo. The U3M data from Vizoo contains color and texture information about the material or fabric. The main differentiation in this release is the ability to extract raw data from FAB, in addition to material standardization. The software file format is a new open source file format called U3M Version 1.1.  Therefore, it allows for the combination of visual and physical material information in one source.

Browzwear and Vizoo have committed to being open source platforms, which creates visual alignment across different applications and is a key development for the industry.  For an industry not known for working together and only sharing in-house, this could change the industry and ultimately benefit customers.

Browzwear has created a growing ecosystem of partners to input assets (scanning, avatars), workflow management (PLM) and output data (merchandising, rendering, animations). Vizoo is in discussions with other 3D CAD providers on how to read FAB data and extract measurements.

Vizoo and other scanning companies will scan materials for their customers or provide rental of their scanners to increase access to material scanning across the industry.

 

Why is Material Modeling So Important?

(Image Courtesy: Material Exchange)                                      (Image Courtesy: Swatchbook)

The next frontier in 3D design is to understand and model materials. For designers to truly embrace 3D, the garments on the avatars need to closely emulate the fabrics in real life. Fabrics are considered a subset of materials. Going beyond the color and texture of the fabric, to capture the soft physics of the fabric, allows for the designer’s vision to be truly communicated and gives the designer confidence on their creations in the 3D visualization. The key soft physics of the fabrics include the stretching and bending properties, which are in part dependent upon fabric thickness.

Current travel restrictions have disrupted the industry and changed how business is done. For material suppliers, a digital representation of their fabrics will be key in communicating with brands and designers. Global digital databases are becoming key resources for brands and designers, such as the Material Exchange and Swatchbook, which include not only the physical material information, but also the attributes needed in PLM systems. The digital representations will not replace the actual touch and feel of fabric but will reduce the need to send multiple fabric samples before candidates are finally chosen.

 

Two Main Types of Material Scanners

Scanning of materials or fabrics for 3D CAD can be divided into two main categories:  scans for color and material texture, and another for physical properties that capture how a material will drape.

 

Color Scans

Color scans are rendered using different techniques of computer graphics. The goal is to render a photorealistic simulation. To do this, one needs to accurately model the flow of light in the real world. Some of the qualities of the material that impact the flow of light include: diffuse color (or base color), specular color (reflected highlights), roughness of the material, or transparency of the material (solid or like glass). These values can be impacted by material type, such as organics (hair, fur, skin texture), metals or very shiny materials, transparent materials, or plastics. The lighting selected will also impact the rendering – ambient light, full sunlight, and lighting at various angles.

Samples of Materials available for download on the U3M website, on the left (Houndstooth), on the right (Big Knit Jacquard). There is even a black glossy leather sample for review. (Images Courtesy: https://www.u3m.info/)

 

What Exactly is Soft Physics?

Soft physics is a field of computer graphics that focuses on visually realistic simulations of materials that are easily deformed. Materials such as gels and fabrics, retain their shape after use, but will change while being worn through draping, gathering, bunching, etc. Therefore, to fully model the material in 3D, the stretch and bend of the fabric needs to be understood. A good example is the difference between silk or cotton or sketch fabrics. In other words, 3D simulations need to capture how the finished garment will react to the chosen fabric.

 

Cotton Incorporated Launches New 3D Fabrics

(Image Courtesy: https://www.cottoninc.com/quality-products/fabrics/fabricast-collections/)

In August 2020 Cotton Incorporated’s CottonWorks , announced the launch of 3D downloadable digital files, taking cotton apparel design to the next level. The FABRICAST  collection offers designers and product developers working with two popular design programs, Browzwear and CLO, access to inspirational and inventive cotton and cotton-rich fabrics for the collaborative design process.

Cotton digital fabric files can be downloaded for CLO and Browzwear programs at  cottonworks.com, the cotton resource for textile professionals. CottonWorks  is a go-to textile tool for discovering what’s possible with cotton. From fiber and manufacturing education to sustainability facts to fabric inspiration and trend forecasting, cottonworks.com has the resources the industry needs to stay in motion.

Cotton Incorporated’s CottonWorks , a resource for textile professionals, launches 3D downloadable digital files, taking cotton apparel design to the next level. The FABRICAST  collection offers designers and product developers working with two popular design programs access to inspirational and inventive cotton and cotton-rich fabrics for the collaborative design process.

According to Cotton Inc., “The work-at-home environment, this year, propelled many companies to search for more digital solutions in all aspects of the business including the already emerging 3D design programs.”

And Krista Schreiber, a veteran industry designer and digital supply chain consultant, stated that “3D technology offers a great solution for digital design, fit, merchandising, and marketing. When you connect that digitally with sourcing and manufacturing, we have a winning combination for the apparel industry.

 

For the Textile Geeks

A detailed discussion, The Measurement of Fabric Properties for Virtual Simulation – A critical review, is available on the IEEE 3D Body Processing Industry Connections site. This paper compares six different fabric physics measuring systems: Kawabata Evaluation System (KES), Fabric Assurance by Simple Testing (FAST), Fabric Touch Tester (FTT), CLO Fabric Kit 2.0, Fabric Analyzer by Browzwear (FAB), and Optitex Mark 10. It was published February 2020. The focus of the paper is on the hardware and raw physics results. Authors are from Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Netherlands; University of Art and Design Linz, Austria; and University of Manchester, UK.

In summary, the future of materials is digital and will play an important role in the 3D ecosystem.  Are you ready?

 

 

Fashion Computer Game

Apparel Design and Gaming

Gaming is big business.  Fashion is big business. Is there any overlap?

Gaming has a global market value of $152 billion, as reported in the Global Games Market Report by the intelligence firm, Newzoo, of which 45 percent is spent on mobile games. In 2019, a staggering $2.4 billion people were estimated to have played a mobile game (close to one third of the global population).

 

How is Fashion Used in Games?

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Players are no longer just teenage boys. Victoria Tran, the Communications Director at Kitfox Games located in Montreal, Canada, presented a talk at the Full Indie Summit, November 20, 2019 entitled, Underdressed and Stressed, Why Fashion in Games Matters.  Kitfox produces games like Boyfriend Dungeon, Six Ages, Dwarf Fortress, Lucifer within Us and Mondo Museum.

Victoria pointed out to the assembled game designers at the conference how fashion can add synergy and fun to games. Game designers should think about this while designing games, i.e., style that add to the total gaming experience.

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Victoria explained how fashion expands the story through character development. “Fashion, like character design, is an answer to a question.  How do we express a fictional character in a real-world context?”

Her advice to game designers is the following: “Clothes are a story, know where your character will appear, and every piece has meaning. Don’t just add accessories unless they have a use or meaning to the story.  Fashion tells your players about the character without words. “

We were able to get a virtual interview with Victoria to ask the question of how a fashion designer could break into the world of game fashion. Victoria recommends having a knowledge of game engines (whether that’s Unity, Unreal, GameMaker, etc.), along with familiarizing yourself with games of different genres to see how fashion could intersect with them.

If you are interested in learning how to create games using the above game engines, like Unity, check out Udemy. A great way to fill your time while you are self-quarantined (for about $13.99, you can’t beat the price).

 

FASHION IS THE GAME ITSELF 

DREST

Dr. Evridiki Papahristou from whichPLM (a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) magazine dedicated to retail industry news & fashion industry news) writes about fashion-oriented games. Some of the games she has covered are Drest, the first interactive luxury styling game and Burberry’s first fashion game, B Bounce.

Drest was created by Lucy Yeomans, founding editor-in-chief of Net-a-Porter’s magazine Porter. The game invites users to dress photorealistic avatars each week with different styling challenges. Players adopt the role of fashion stylists utilizing new season collections. Full launch is scheduled for early 2020. Drest will be available for both Android and Apple with partnerships that already include Gucci, Prada, Stella McCarthy, Puma and many others.  Players will be able to purchase the clothes featured in the game on Farfetch.

(Permission granted from Drest)

(Permission granted from Drest)

 

BURBERRY

Burberry’s first game, B Bounce (launched October 2019) involves players competing for virtual and physical jackets. The goal is to entertain and connect with younger consumers around the world, as interactive digital content becomes another opportunity for consumers to connect with the Burberry community online. 

Building on the success of B Bounce, Burberry launched a second game in January 2020, The World of Ratberry, as part of its 2020 Lunar New Year campaign inspired by the Thomas Burberry Monogram motif and in honor of the Year of the Rat.

World of Ratberry

B Bounce (Photo credit: Burberry)

 

LOUIS VUITTON

Fashion brands are starting to put their stamp on characters within games. In 2019, Riot Games partnered with Louis Vuitton for that year’s League of Legends Championship Finals in Paris by creating a bespoke travel case for the Summer’s Cup trophy designed Nicolas Ghesquière.

Vuitton added other digital assets for the game Louis Vuitton x League of Legends, such as ‘skins’, which in gaming language means graphic/audio files used to change the appearance of the user interface to a program or for a game character. League of Legends has grown to become a global phenomenon as the most-played PC game in the world.

(Louis Vuitton Trophy Case for Legends Championship Finals)

(Louis Vuitton ‘skins’ – Photo credit: League of Legends)

 

UNIVERSITY OF FASHION SUGGESTS A FASHION GAME  

Many existing online multi-player role-playing games (MMPORG) seem to focus on the appearance of the avatar in terms of face, hair, and body type. And some games allow the player to add clothing or “skins.”

As Victoria Tran noted “A lot of games have found success by adding mod support, where players can actually create and import their own designs into games – and that extends beyond fashion too! But this depends on the player base being continually active.”

The game Drest allows users to practice their styling skills and then purchase the clothes, but styling isn’t designing, and this type of game doesn’t really excite aspiring fashion designers. In fact, if you were to ask a fashion designer to comment on existing game avatars, they would probably tell you that there is much room for improvement. That got us to thinking. What if we could create a game dedicated to the hands-on, creative aspect of fashion designing? What would that look like?

So, we asked Victoria Tran her opinion of a MMPORG based on a fashion theme like the fashion reality TV shows Project Runway, Next in Fashion or Making the Cut? Her response:

That’d be cool! So much of this boils down to having a team that’s willing to put in the work towards making it, marketing, the consumer base, and figuring out a fun mechanic to go alongside it.”

When we asked her about the cost of making a game from scratch, here’s what she said:

“Hmmm that’s a difficult question to answer since it depends on the scope of the project, e.g. a simple 2D platformer will cost more than a 3D MMO game, depending on team size and how deep you want the game to be. I’d put it in the upper range of 500k+”

 

If any game programmers are reading this and want to get a slice of the fashion design gaming pie, give us a call. Here are some ideas that we came up with:

A Fashion Design Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Create a theme/fabric/color story board

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Childrenswear (Photo credit: Seul Lee for University of Fashion)

 

Theme/Fabric/Color Storyboard (Photo credit: University of Fashion)

 

A Fashion Illustration Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your fashion illustrations on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Figure Drawing Challenge (Photo credit: Steven Broadway for University of Fashion)

 

Fashion Illustration Challenge (Photo credit: Roberto Calasanz for University of Fashion)

 

A Draping Challenge

Choose your design classification: Evening, Bridal, Intimate Apparel, Activewear, Sportswear

Choose your fabric

Sketch your design

Drape your design

Modify your design or let others mod your design

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Eveningwear Draping Challenge – Eveningwear (Photo credit: Kenneth McQueen for University of Fashion)

 

Activewear Draping Challenge (Photo credit: Shanna Cupples for University of Fashion)

Other Useful Links

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/oct/09/gamers-spend-hours-customising-characters-but-dont-you-dare-mention-fashion

https://www.whichplm.com/if-you-cant-work-with-3d-technology-then-play-with-it/

https://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/magazine/articles/louis-vuitton-x-league-of-legends#

https://ew.com/tv/tv-reviews/making-the-cut-on-amazon-review/

 

Share your thoughts on what type of fashion design computer game would most interest you!

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) FOR FASHION RETAILING

AUGMENTED REALITY (AR) FOR FASHION RETAILING

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, what color looks best for the ball?”

MemoryMirror (Photo credit MemoMi Labs)

What exactly is AR? Per Wikipedia, Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information. Augmented Reality for retail here!

For example, MemoMi Labs offers the MemoryMirror, which enables customers to try products virtually. How does this work?  The mirror is a reflective TV screen linked to a camera and controlled by AR software to create a virtual fitting room.

Per Morgan Drake of X-cart.com, “63% of retail brands plan to use AR in the next two years, however, 52% of retail executives do not feel prepared to support advanced technologies.”  That is, there is a demand for employees trained in AR.

Further info links:

Links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augmented_reality

https://www.x-cart.com/blog/augmented-reality-retail.html

https://memorymirror.com/

AR TRAINING

(Photo credit: Fashion Institute of Technology)

How does one train for this soon-to-be required skill? 

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) will be offering an AR/VR course in their Content Design Certificate Program as of Summer 2020. The course will focus on using 360 photo/video, Unity (cross-platform game engine), WebVR, and A-frame (a web framework for building virtual reality experiences) to build experiences for the web. The content includes AR/VR tools, creating 360 content, creating 3D animated models, and other content.  Enrollment require a basic understanding of coding, such as HTML and CSS.  Experience with basic JavaScript is preferred. HTML and CSS are coding languages used in constructing web sites. Check the links below for more details.

(Photo credit: Kode with Klossy)

Most fashion schools concentrate on technical skills such as draping, sewing, pattern making and fashion illustration. However, in article from the October 2016 edition of Vogue Australia they explain why designers should learn to code. In today’s technological world, this skill set will be required if one wants to remain relevant. In fact, recognition of the need for coding skills has led supermodel Karlie Kloss to set up “Kode with Klossy” coding camps with scholarships for girls age 13-18.

If you are over the age of 18, there are other options to learn to code, such as the Code Academy or other online training programs.

Further info links:

Links

http://www.fitnyc.edu/ccps/designing-tomorrow/arvr-content-design.php

https://www.vogue.com.au/vogue-codes/news/this-is-why-you-need-to-learn-how-to-code/news-story/53362905dad4927674d1a433aae5c699

https://www.kodewithklossy.com/program

https://www.codecademy.com/

DESIGN VISIBILITY USING AR

Many designers struggle with how to get their collection visible to more people without a runway show. 

As Brooke Roberts-Islam noted in Forbes, AR is expanding from pre-recorded content to a live runway show in a customer’s physical location. The London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency (FIA) partnered with HoloMe to present selected collections from London College of Fashion MA graduates. Viewers were able to watch the show via smartphone in real-time.

The HoloMe website explains the four categories of AR: marker-based, markless, projection-based and superimposition-based.  Superimposition allows the customers to have human holograms model clothing products within their own homes or via another chosen environment.

This technology can be used to generate “buzz” through which customers gain first looks into what is possible. HoloMe states that they are able to provide a real-time streaming experience with their existing hardware kit and mobile platform, which can accommodate up to 1 million users simultaneously.

Further info links:

Links

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brookerobertsislam/2019/03/05/groundbreaking-augmented-reality-fashion-show-streamed-to-global-audience/#25cd5a5b45b6

https://holo.me/

https://holo.me/the-a-r-industry-and-experiential-marketing/

Can you just imagine how great that would be for an upstart designer, a fashion college student’s senior project or an ITAA design competition? Let us know what you think?

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) FOR FASHION

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) FOR FASHION

What is AI exactly?  AI is the use of algorithms or computer programs to imitate human thought and action by analyzing data and learning to adapt to a variety of tasks. Artificial Intelligence, now part of everyday life, is predicted to increase in the second decade of the 21st century, especially in the design & retail environment within the fashion. Let’s explore how:

(Photo credit: Alexa Echo Dot -3rd Gen)

(Photo credit : Siri)

There are two general types of AI, ‘Strong’ and ‘Weak.’ ‘Weak’ AI is a set of programmed responses or interactions that are merely ‘human-like.’  Alexa and Siri are good examples of these.  When these devices are asked questions or asked to perform tasks, their responses are programmed, and they assess which response is appropriate from their ‘bank of responses.’  However, ‘weak’ AI does not ‘understand’ the true meaning of the commands or who should be giving the commands. So, check your device settings; all devices have Advanced Settings to address this issue. Common examples include parental controls or two-step verification (commonly called two factor authentication).

AI FASHION INDUSTRY COLLABORATIONS – MERGING FASHION & TECHNOLOGY

Fashion Institute of Technology & IBM

(Photo credit: Fashion Institute of Technology)

‘Strong’ AI is used for problem-solving processes.  It’s programmed to use a mixture of logic and trial & error to find answers or to categorize things. This type of AI works by ‘image sorting’ and can help you analyze real-time images and fashion industry trends.

For example, in 2018, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), IBM and Tommy Hilfiger teamed up to evaluate 15,000 Tommy Hilfiger images and some 600,000 publicly available runway images, to understand silhouettes, colors and styles. Another tool was used to analyze nearly 100,000 patterns from various fabric websites to produce novel and unique fabric patterns. This helped eliminate “all-nighters” for design research, since more time was allocated to designing and less time for researching.

This project led to further collaboration between IBM and FIT in 2019.  FIT will use IBM AI for their Fashion Workforce of the Future in their DTechLab. They plan to partner with IBM in retail marketing & merchandising to enhance their curriculum and to perform joint research.

London College of Fashion & Microsoft

(Photo credit: London College of Fashion)

The London College of Fashion’s (LCF) Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) is working with Microsoft to expand their offerings for advanced research in 3D effects and wearable technology. They are using AI to pinpoint consumer demand and augmented Reality (AR) to revive retail. As noted by Matthew Drinkwater, head of FIA, “We cannot ignore the way that digital has impacted everyday life and completely changed how designers, brands and retailers engage with consumers.”

AI RETAIL

Zalando Research

(Photo credit: Zalando Research)

Zalando Research (a division of Zalando), an online retailer in Europe and the UK, is another company that is developing software for designers. They are developing AI solutions for: the personalization of fit; visual searches for fashion images; determining diversity of design; recommendations for future customer purchases; pricing recommendations; generative fashion design; generative fashion image swapping using avatars, and image transfer.

The first image below left, displays how generative fashion design works. For example, you can change the color, texture and shape of the garment on the left into a very different garment, as you see in the garment examples to the right.  This can be useful in design studies. The second image displays how the same garment can be worn on different people. This could help with grading or designing for size. The third image displays different textures being modeled for the same garment style. Thus, AI can be used in the design & merchandising of fashion.

“Hello Siri or Alexa, ready to help design my new outfit?”

(Photo credit: Zalando Research)

The possibilities are endless for implementing AI in both the design and merchandising of fashion. STAY TUNED!

For more information on AI:  

Links

https://www.thestreet.com/technology/what-is-artificial-intelligence-14822076

https://www.businessinsider.com/sc/ibm-fashion-fit-design-ai-2018-2

https://newsroom.ibm.com/2019-04-23-IBM-and-FIT-Announce-Collaboration-to-Help-Build-the-Creative-Fashion-Workforce-of-the-Future

https://dtech.fitnyc.edu/webflow/index.html

https://news.microsoft.com/transform/london-college-of-fashion-designers-artificial-intelligence/

http://www.fialondon.com/

https://research.zalando.com/welcome/mission/research-projects/

3D Revolution: Part 2

Alvanon Virtual Fit Form Avatar –Under Armour shirts

In our previous blogpost, 3D Revolution- Part 1– we explained how legacy processes ingrained in the fashion industry have been key factors in why the industry has been so reluctant to introduce new technologies. Some of their concerns center around whether they can trust what they see on-screen. Most have spent their entire career using old methods of design and pattern making, which ensures that they can touch, modify and fit garments before the approval and manufacturing processes. Other concerns are whether digital fabric libraries are accurate and robust enough, ROI (return on investment) i.e. the cost of integrating 3D vs the benefits and the learning curve involved in implementing 3D, are all factors.

Despite these concerns, we are seeing an increase in the number of brands who are integrating 3D technology into their workspace. According to Motif (an industry learning platform in partnership with Alvanon), “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ digital is going to be a part of your corporate strategy, but ‘when’.”

In this, the second part in our 3D series, we will:

  1. Explore types of avatars and their role in 3D fashion design software
  2. Identify key 3D software companies & industry groups that support the advancement of 3D
  3. Provide the ABCs of 3D

 

How & why are 3D avatars used in the fashion industry?

In Part 1, we learned that the first step in the process of integrating 3D technology into the workplace is to obtain customer data through body scans, to understand not only the ‘size’ of their customer but also their ‘shape.’

Avatars created from body scans in various sizes and shapes are then used in computer aided design (CAD) software. The fashion industry uses two types of avatars: Virtual Fit and Parametric. There is also an ISO standard for the digital fitting of clothing. According to ISO 18825-1:2016, Virtual fit is called a Virtual Clone and Parametric is called a Virtual Twin.  A scan from a person who is not moving is called a static scan. Adding motion to create a dynamic Virtual Clone requires a 4D scan (like 3dMD), since everyone moves slightly differently.

Virtual Fit Standard Range of Motion Avatar (Photo credit: Alvanon)

Parametric Range of Motion Avatar (Photo credit: Browzwear)

 

Virtual Fit avatars are used for design, fitting and pattern making, and are sometimes used for presentation, sales and marketing. Virtual Fit avatars are exact replicas of actual human bodies (though avatar customization options may be limited), but these Virtual Fit avatars do not have the capability for pre-programmed motion, as do parametric avatars.

Parametric avatars on the other hand, offer a better visualization of how the fabric flows and can also be used to identify certain fit issues. However, the software for parametric avatars is limited in that they may not have your consumer’s exact measurements, which makes fit somewhat unreliable. Parametric avatars are most used for presentations, sales and marketing, since their range of motion is very exciting.

For custom fitted clothing, it is important to know if a static virtual twin or a static virtual clone is to be used for garment pattern generation.  A virtual twin may not be sufficiently representative to make custom clothing if a person’s specific shape is significantly different from an avatar, which is representative of a certain population. Technologists currently generate patterns for custom clothing from static scans, not from dynamic scans. In addition, they are looking to automate pattern generation from static virtual clones, such that unique patterns can be generated from the same style to fit differently shaped people.  That is, each person gets their unique pattern for the same style of garment.

 

Mesh Modeling

Mesh modeling is a polygonal model that is used in 3D computer graphics. A mesh is a visualization of point cloud that basically connects the dots to form triangles or polygons.  More triangles or polygons improve resolution but also increases file size.

Photo credit: JoliCode

 

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is the process of taking precise measurements by using digital pictures typically used by smartphone apps.

Permission granted from Size Stream

 

ALVANON

Beginning in 2001, Alvanon (makers of the highest quality dress forms in the industry) scanned over 1.5 million bodies. They also collaborated with Under Armour, digitizing size ranges for the purpose of creating a fleet of 3D avatars from Infant size 0 to Men’s 5XL. This allows for the prototyping of all samples (all sizes within a product line) without having to create physical prototypes for every size. Consequently, customers can see how the garment will look, if the garment is set up for material personalization.  The Alvanon Body Platform (ABP) is a new, secure cloud-database offering 3D fit standards for the global apparel industry. Operating on all collaborating 3D software systems, it provides a fast, accurate, and simple way for brands and retailers to implement their 3D fit and core body standards with their supply chain.

“At Alvanon, we believe that the 3D journey begins with the avatar. Not just any avatar, but the fit standard that represents the brand’s target customers’ body shapes and sizes.” – Jason Wang, Chief Operating Officer, Alvanon.

 

TUKATECH

Tukatech, a concept to consumer digital platform, has recently opened their library of over 750 virtual fit models for global brands & retailers and to all 3D users in the fashion industry, regardless of which 3D fashion technology system they use. Their fleet consists of exact replicas of 3D fit models developed from leading brands’ live fit models. Each is a true representation of a real fit model who was body scanned or 3D sculpted using a proprietary measurement engine and digitized for the virtual world, including their measurements, shape, and posture.

The use of avatars in VR/AR can provide the customer with an understanding of how clothing and shoes will look prior to purchase. Or it can provide a personal getaway, anytime, to a virtual universe, as seen on their phone.

Photo credit: Wanna Kicks

Photo credit: Moosejaw

So far, the biggest users of 3D technologies have been brands within the activewear, accessories and footwear industries.  However, momentum is growing in other apparel classifications, as brands assess their own needs to obtain a competitive edge in the market.

 

Who are the key players in 3D CAD fashion software?

The first CAD software company to enter the fashion space was Gerber (1968). A succession of companies followed: Lectra (1973), OpiTex (1988), Tukatech (1997), Browzwear (1999), CLO (2009) and Marvelous Designer by CLO (2012).

CAD software used for design, costing, sampling, merchandising, quality and sourcing is known as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. Software that manages product data as it moves through a product’s lifecycle is called Product Data Management (PDM). Software that deals with pattern drafting and marker making is known as Pattern Design Software (PDM).  And 3D Fashion Design Software is used for design, altering patterns and to create visual assets for sales & marketing.

We will go into further detail about the types of 3D features and costs involved in the next segment of our three-part series, 3D Revolution – Part 3.

 

What industry groups are helping to advance 3D technologies?

There are several groups who are focused on interoperability standards (so data can be shared across platforms), updates to technology, innovation, and 3D education.

3D.RC: The 3D Retail Coalition (3DRC), is a collaborative group of global retailers and brands, working together to advance 3D technology. Their sub committees focus on Technology, Innovation and Education. Examples of the webinars on their site include custom avatars, and 3D business processes.

IEEE IC 3DBP: IEEE Industry Connections 3D Body Processing (3DBP) brings together diverse stakeholders from across technology, retail, research and standards development to build thought leadership around 3D body processing technology standards in areas such as 3D capture, processing, storage, sharing and (augmented) representation.      

Photo credit: 3DRC

Photo credit: IEEE

 

ABCs of 3D Technology

Sometimes, the hardest part of understanding a new technology are all the new terms. Here are a few key words for the beginning of the ABCs.

A

Algorithm – A process or set of rules to be followed in a problem-solving method or calculations

Avatar – A graphical representation of a person or target customer. Avatars used in the 3D fashion design are either Virtual Fit or Parametric.

B

Boolean – A system that expresses logical relationships between things.  Search functions use the Boolean operators, such as AND, NOT, OR.  For example, “dress” and “red.”

C

Circular Economy – Products designed with a focus on generating maximum value and one that extends its longevity through reuse at the end of a product’s lifecycle.

D

Digitizing – Process of converting information into a digital format typically used for patterns.

M

Mesh – A polygonal model that is used in 3D computer graphics. A mesh is a visualization of point cloud that basically connects the dots to form triangles or polygons.  More triangles or polygons improved resolution but increase file size. 

N

Noise – The existence of extraneous recorded data within a point cloud. It
can be caused by an object obstructing the sensor or ambient light and reflections into the sensor during the data capture process.

P

Parametric Avatar – A 3D modeling of a human body shape used to demonstrate motion and fabric flow. They are sometimes used for fitting purposes but mostly for presentation, sales and marketing purposes. 

Photogrammetry – the process of taking precise measurements by using digital pictures typically used by smartphone apps.

Point Cloud – The computer visualization of the XYZ coordinates that describe a physical object. Each point represents an actual point on the object and collectively describes its shape and measurements.

R

Rendering – The graphical representation of a computer model. Characteristics and effects can be added to its surfaces and features.

Resolution – The spacing of points in a grid. The higher the resolution, the more
data that will be captured. Likewise, the lower the resolution, the “flatter” the detail.

S

Spectrophotometers (can be multi angle) – A device that allow measurement of color, sparkle and coarseness to measure effect finishes.

Surfaces – Refers to the part being scanned or to the computer file from the scanner

T

Texture Mapping – is the graphic design process in which a two-dimensional surface is wrapped around a 3D object.  Texture maps can be used to add colors, displacement, normal (used to simulate details on the surface), specular (how light reflects) and other effects.

Technical Fit – Fit of a garment that determines how the garment is made which includes: balance, function, sizing and comfort.

Tech Packs – Details of a product: flat sketch, specification measurements, and other technical details that are issued to a vendor or supplier as a guideline for sample development.

V

Virtual Clone A virtual human body that is created from a 3D body scanned point cloud using surface modeling processesThe virtual clone is identical to the body shape of the customer. (Also called Virtual Fit).

Virtual Fit Avatar – A 3D model of a human body shape used to for design, fitting and pattern making, and are sometimes used for presentation, sales and marketing.

Virtual Twin – A morphed virtual human body that can be altered by entering parameters retrieved from a population database. The virtual twin is not identical to the body shape of the customer. (Also called Parametric).

MORE 3D TO COME…

This blogpost introduced you to 3D avatars, the key players & groups that are helping to advance 3D technology and the ABCs of 3D terminology. Our final segment, Part 3, will be devoted to key 3D software companies, the brands who have already adopted 3D technology, the costs of 3D, and how to assess your needs when choosing a 3D technology company.

Let us know if you have experimented with 3D design software and what you think of it?

3D Revolution: The Future is NOW – Part 1

(Image Courtesy Alvanon)

This is the first in our three-part blog series on how 3D technologies are impacting the Fashion, Apparel and Footwear Industries. At last…the fashion industry is finally catching up to the automotive and architecture industries. Some early adopters brands are taking a giant leap away from their ‘legacy’ way of doing things and stepping into the world of 3D technologies for the design, production and marketing of their apparel, accessories and footwear. Not since 1826 and the invention of Elias Howe’s sewing machine have we witnessed such disruption in our industry. Hold on to your hats… the Future is NOW!

(Permission granted from SolidWorks)

 

The Focus of Our Three-part 3D series:

  1. Part 1 –The meaning of 2D, 3D and 4D; the history of 3D body scanning; how body scanning is used in the fashion industry; the key players that are driving 3D scanning technology.
  2. Part 2 – 3D CAD technology; the role of avatars in 3D software; the key 3D software players and industry groups that support the advancement of 3D technology; 3D terminology.
  3. Part 3 The benefits of 3D, the cost of 3D technology; how brands use 3D technology and how to choose a 3D design software platform.

Is the fashion industry ready to take the 3D Plunge?

The fashion industry has been notoriously resistant to new technologies in favor of ‘legacy’ ways of doing things (i.e. pre-computer methods of design, pattern making, manufacturing, marketing & sales).  They have long held on to the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We all can agree that a solid foundation in the disciplines of draping, pattern making, fashion art and product development, etc. (like the one we provide at University of Fashion) is mandatory, otherwise you will sink like a rock. But today’s fashion brands are recognizing that they can actually build upon those legacy processes and are implementing 3D technologies. Why the sudden change? The main reasons are both financial and cultural:

  1. With the advent of internet shopping, brands have been struggling with the staggering number of online ecommerce returns. According to the new book by Dana Thomas, Fashionopolis, that rate is a whopping 52%. Brands are realizing that if they can better understand their customers’ body shapes, they may be able to create better-fitting products, thus reducing the number of returns.
  2. A new, young and tech savvy generation of consumers expect ‘on-demand’ everything. Brands using 3D technology gain a competitive edge by adopting faster turn-around times from design to delivery.
  3. The sample making process for brands is quite costly and time consuming. By utilizing 3D design software, brands are able to reduce the sample process down to weeks instead of months. And using avatars for design, pattern making, presentation and sales & marketing purposes not only reduces the number of samples being made, but can facilitate on-demand manufacturing options.
  4. By embracing on-demand manufacturing, the concept of  a circular economy and using sustainable materials, brands can reduce their carbon footprint; a key driver in today’s consumers’ demand for full transparency. In addition, 3D technology is a source for greater efficiency, speed to market, sustainability & innovation, supply chain optimization and the ability to gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

What exactly is 2D, 3D and 4D?

2D – Everyone in the fashion industry is quite familiar with the concept of  2D,  for example, a sketch, a textile or a paper pattern.

 

(Fashion Illustration & Pattern – Courtesy University of Fashion)

3D – When we speak of 3D, we reference the draping process, where fabric (2D) is manipulated around a dress form to create a 3D pattern. Or, a 2D piece of paper that is folded to create a 3D form, such as origami.

(Draped Skirt – Courtesy University of Fashion)

 

(Permission granted from The Origami Paper Shop)

4D –  4D, a mathematical extension of the concept of 3D.  Sometimes 3D becomes 4D when motion (a way to represent time) is added (for example, a video). to learn more about 2D, 3D and 4D, click on this link. 

 

What is 3D Body Scanning?

(Image Courtesy of Alvanon)

For the past 15 years, the general public has become more acquainted with the concept of body scanning, the 3D method of scanning the human body to capture various body measuring points. 3D body scanning actually dates back to the 1960s, but didn’t break into the engineering field until the 1990s. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, 3D scanning expanded to include applications for medical, biometrics, human factors, high-end fit apparel and anthropometrics. The fashion industry came to learn about body scanners when in 1997 Cyberware introduced their WB4 scanner, which was used to scan U.S. soldiers for the purpose of creating better-fitting uniforms. Previously, Cyberware’s body scanners were mostly used for special effects by the movie industry (as in the film Terminator) and in hospitals.

In 2001, [TC]2 body scanners were used to conduct Britain’s first national sizing survey called SIZE UK. In 2002, the same scanners were used to scan 10,000 Americans (SIZE USA), which was the first major study of the size and shape of Americans since the ASTM study during WWII.

By the mid 2000s, body scanning booths began appearing in stores like Bloomingdales and Gap as a way to get consumers into their stores to buy merchandise.

Today, smartphone apps like Naked Labs, Netvirta , 3DLook, mirrorsize  and others, are trying to break into the body scanning market, but with varying degrees of accuracy and success.

When a fashion brand is considering 3D software for design, product development, sales and marketing, their first priority is to perfect a virtual fit avatar (as a technical fitting tool) and a parametric avatar (for presentation & marketing purposes).  

 

Who are the key 3D body scanning players?

Each of the companies listed below have in one form or another been active in 3D scanning.

How is 3D body scanning used in the fashion industry?

3D technologies encompass both 3D scanning & 3D software. 3D scanning is used to: 1) obtain customer data (body scans), 2) to evaluate properties (textures for textiles) and 3) to understand how the product was formed (reverse engineering).

Body scans of customers provide data that brands use to understand not only the ‘size’ of their customer but their ‘shape.’ Better garment fit can be achieved by expanding beyond a standard fit model. Avatars of their generic customer in various sizes and shapes can be created and later used in computer aided design (CAD) or as input to Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR) scenarios.

For custom-fitting in clothing, avatars within the CAD software can be modified to reflect a person’s actual measurements. Sometimes, custom avatars are created for specific customers. These are known as Virtual Fit Forms.

Designers use avatars during the design process in an attempt to reduce the high cost of sample making. Marketers use Virtual Fit avatars and Parametric avatars (those that have more motion, such as avatars that can walk, run and jump) to help sell/market product to potential buyers. We will go into depth about 3D CAD software and these types of avatars in our next blog.

 

Our 3D series continues…

As a fashion education resource, we at the University of Fashion are committed to delivering the latest news in the fashion industry. This blog post focused on 3D scanning technology, the first step in the process of ‘going 3D.’ As more and more companies adopt 3D technology, just as the sewing machine revolutionized fashion in the 1800s, 3D will become a very important component in the design, production, marketing & sales of apparel and footwear.

Next week, in Part 2 of our series, we will discuss 1) the role of avatars, both parametric and virtual fit forms, 2) the key players in the 3D software industry and, 3) explain the ABC/terminology used in the 3D space.

 

CARE TO SHARE YOUR OWN BODY SCANNING EXPERIENCE?

 

Here’s some additional links for 3D Body Scanners

https://floridalaserscanning.com/3d-laser-scanning/history-of-laser-scanning/

http://www.3dmd.com/ http://sizestream.com/ https://www.human-solutions.com/

https://www.tc2.com/ https://texel.graphics/ https://www.artec3d.com/portable-3d-scanners/shapifybooth https://www.styku.com/ https://fit3d.com/

https://nakedlabs.com/ https://www.staramba.com/ https://www.ibv.org/en/

http://bodymetrics.com/ https://3dlook.me/ https://www.netvirta.com/3d-scanning/

https://www.mirrorsize.com/ https://alvanon.com/ http://www.iwl.jp/en/

https://techmed3d.com/

Global Sizing Challenges for Gen Alpha & Gen Z

- - Childrenswear
Two happy kids

Photo by Heyday Photism@Pexels.com

 

Who is Gen Alpha?

Generation Alpha is the cohort born beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2025This group was born after the launch of the iPad, so technology is a constant in their lives. They are aware and are swayed by YouTube influencers for toys and games.  Gen Alpha is expected to have an attraction to multiculturalism and a tendency to veer away from gender norms.

 

Photo by Mihai Stefan@Pexels.com

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen@Pexels.com

 

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z are those born between 1995 and 2010/2012. They value comfort and function and enjoy making their outfits their own, intentionally mismatched and less “put together.” They prefer to wear what feels right and tend to go for “unique” body-positive images.

 

Photo by Amponsah Nii Davidson@Pexels.com

 

Gen Alpha & Gender Equality

Who is fighting to get rid of the “pink” aisle for toys and wanting the “it” basketball shoe for girls, as well as, boys?  Say hello to Gen Alpha (and their parents). This cohort, influenced by the #MeToo, #TimesUp and #HimToo movements, will be focused on “empowerment through empathy”which in turn, will catapult the green movement into every aspect of their lives.

For more info on fashion & marketing to Generations Z & Alpha – click on these links:  

https://girlstweenfashion.com/top-gen-z-clothing-brands-2018/

https://digiday.com/marketing/forget-millennials-gen-alpha/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46613032

https://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-curry-letter-girls-shoes-riley-2018-11

 

Gen Z and Alpha – Presenting Some Very Real Global Sizing Challenges

 

Children’s Apparel Standards

Permission granted from Alvanon

Gen Z and Gen Alpha are not the same as past generations in terms of size, shape and stature. And, sizing standards have not kept up with these changes.  A report released by Alvanon (Alvanon Standard North American Children, January 30th, 2018), revealed a “seismic shift” in the children’s sizing standards.  To develop the standard, Alvanon surveyed key clients to gain feedback on challenges in fitting children and collected body scanned data.  The resultant new standard covers infants, toddlers and both male and female children/ teens up to age 18 (size 18).  Further standards have been issued from ISO (International), EN (Europe), GB/T (China), JIS (Japan), KS K (South Korea), AFNOR (France), Australian, UK and ASTM (US).  Many countries have their own general children’s sizing guidelines, but the actual garment sizing will vary by brand.  For Asian countries, each country has their own method of children’s clothing sizing.  Some countries base the sizing off height, some countries base sizing off age, and some counties have different sizing dependent on domestic use or for export.

While standards exist, they are considered voluntary, so the brands can size as they wish.

In both the US and UK, children’s sizing has historically been based on the age, e.g. a six-year-old requiring a size 6. Consequently, children over the 50th percentile in height or weight, would need a size above their age, so a six-year-old may require a size 7 or 8 if they were larger and size 5 if they were smaller than average.  Current, European standards are based height and weight and not age dependent.  With Alvanon’s new sizing standard not including Slim” or Plus” or “Junior” sizes for North American children and teens, some sizing discrepancies will remain. Perhaps new sizing standards for North American children and teens beyond “Regular” or “Average” should be included.

 

Permission granted by Kinderzeit.org via Creative Commons License

 

For more info click on these links:

https://alvanon.com/alvanon-releases-new-childrens-clothing-standard/

https://www.kinderzeit.org/en/asian-children-size-chart/

https://www.kinderzeit.org/en/asian-children-size-chart/#what-to-know-about-different-asian-kids-sizes

 

The Impact of New Sizing Standards

Photo by Nappy@Pexels.com

Photo by Pixabay@Pexels.com

 

Some companies have the same measurements for boys and girls through size 14 and others start separating the measurements for boys and girls at size 14. Most dress forms for children stop at size 14.  Why? Historically, that is the size which teen measurements become aligned with adult sizes. This offers more choices to accommodate body shape variations. For example: children’s garments have one inseam length per waist size, yet adults have choices (more choices for men, then women). The inseam for Boys size 16 and 18 is 31 ½ inches or 80 cm but for the same waist size in men’s jeans, there are multiple waist and inseam combinations.  Consequently, it is easier to shop for boys once they attain a waist size of 26 in (66 cm). but finding a suitable style might not be so easy as tween and teen styles preferences frequently vary from adult choices.

For girls, the question of the age of maturity and the shape and size of curves determine the sizes that fit: “Girls”, “Junior”, Girls Plus” or “Girls Slim” “Missy”, “Missy Petite”, “Missy Tall”, “Plus” or “Plus Petite”  or “Plus Tall”.  Measuring for these body shape categories, however, can be difficult as brands offer varied instructions.  Measurements for bust can be either all the way around the body or is measured under the arms from outside edge to outside edge of front.   Waist measurements for pants can be from outside edge to outside or all the way around the body, either at natural waist or as noted.  The rise is measured from the crotch seam to the top of the pants, or it is measured as a total rise.

Sizing is even more complex when considering “fashionista” brands for tweens and teens.  Girls may want to purchase garments to make them look like adults or older teens.  In addition, girls who are larger size for their age, may end up purchasing clothing that their parents/ guardians do not approve. The solution is not simple.  This means ordering online and returns are not going away any time soon.

 

Additional Links:

https://girlstweenfashion.com/top-gen-z-clothing-brands-2018/

https://girlstweenfashion.com/heres-what-stylish-tweens-will-be-wearing-in-2019/

https://www.avacarmichael.com/

 

Children’s Dress Forms

Dress form companies may want to understand the new size, shape and stature of today’s children.  A previous blog post, What’s Happening in the Dress Form Industry 2019 Large Scale Manufacturing, discussed children’s dress forms. The companies that have dress forms for children include: Dress Forms USA, Superior Model Form Company, Dress Rite Forms Company, PGM Dress Forms, Ronis Brothers, Roxy Display, and The Shop Company.  After comparing the children dress form measurements for the chest / bust, waist, hips and inseam, additional padding or shape may be required to align with today’s children.

How are Gen Z and Gen Alpha Shaped Differently?

The size, shape and stature change of the today’s children and teens are related to factors that include changes in lifestyle and increases in obesity that have shifted the distribution of body dimensions.

The National Center for Health Statistics at Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study on the height and weight of Americans in 2004.  They studied the height and weight from 1960s to 2004.  The study was repeated during the 2011 to 2014 period.

The average height of a 10-year-old boy increased 0.5 inch (1.7 cm) to 55.7 inches (141.5 cm) in 2002. The height has stayed the same through 2018. The average weight of a 10-year-old boy increased 10 lbs (4.5 kg) to nearly 85 lbs (38.6 kg) in 2002. The weight leveled off to same value in 2018.

The average 15-year-old boy in 2002 was 5’ 8, up from an inch from 1963. The weight increased from 135.5 lbs (61.6 kg) to 150.3 lbs (68.3 kg) by 2002. By 2018, the average 14-year-old was 5’7” tall.  Heights for 14-year-old boys ranged from 5’ 0” (152.4 cm), (5th percentile) to 5’9” (175.3 cm), (90th percentile).  By age 16, boys at the 95th percentile are at a height 6’ 1” (185.4 cm).  This explains the need for inseams of different lengths.

In the same reports, the average height of a 10-year-old girl increased from 55.5 inches (141 cm) to 56.4 inches (143.3 cm).  The average weight of a 10-year-old girl increased from 77.4 lbs (35.2 kg) to 88 lbs (193.6 kg).  The 15-year-old girl height increased to 63.6 inches (161.5 cm).  The weight increased to 134.4 lbs (61 kg).

Additional Links:

https://www.livescience.com/49-decade-study-americans-taller-fatter.html

https://www.creditdonkey.com/average-male-height.html

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_03/sr03_039.pdf

SUMMARY

Parents have solved the problem of fitting their children by simply purchasing larger and larger sizes.  The advent of online purchasing has further complicated the situation. Parents must buy two or three sizes to see which clothes fit, to account for the myriad of variations within size charts. This does not even account for the children whose body dimensions fall outside of the norm (as determined by the brands).

This environment has created an unsustainable practice of multiple returns forcing Industry to start addressing the underlying causes, i.e. shifting size, shape and stature, of today’s children.

This has greatly exacerbated the on-going “what-is-acceptable-to-wear” battle going on between parents/ guardians and children/ teens.  Furthermore, this environment has created an unsustainable practice of multiple returns. The Industry is being forced to address the underlying causes of the shifting size, shape and stature of today’s children. Improved shopping models are required to address the problem of age-relevant styling.

Limiting choices to certain size ranges has created an opportunity for apparel companies to improve the interactive shopping models currently available.

Disclaimer:  Any image from Pexels.com does not imply any endorsement or agreement with the comments in this blog post.

 

So, what have been your experiences with navigating clothing sizes for kids, tweens and teens? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE DRESS FORM INDUSTRY 2019 – LARGE SCALE MANUFACTURING

Permission granted from Alvanon

Dress forms and body shape – can the standard dress form hourglass figure be improved upon?

Continuing the conversation of consumers demanding size inclusivity and better fitting garments, this blog post focuses on large-scale manufacturing.  The industry is being forced to take a more serious approach to matching design aesthetic to body shape. This blog reviews the dress forms that are available, for large-scale manufacturing, to make body shape inclusive garment design possible. A previous blog post, What’s Happening in The Dress Form Industry 2019 – Part One, focused on small-scale manufacturing.

Note: The companies below are examined from a U.S. perspective.  Any companies wishing to be added to this list should contact the University of Fashion. Information contained in this post reflects the known status as of March 2019.  Cost ranges are noted in U.S. dollars and do not include shipping or taxes. Please double check links for the latest information.

LARGE SCALE MANUFACTURING 

Traditionally, dress forms used for production were available only within a narrow size range and of only one body shape.

Women: Most dress forms for women are modeled on an hourglass figure in which the hips are slightly larger in diameter than the bust. The waist is about 8-13 inches (20 cm – 33 cm) smaller than bust and 9-13 inches (23 cm – 33 cm) smaller than hips, depending on the size and manufacturer. Dress form companies don’t always separate missy and full sizes for women – sizes range from U.S. 0 to 24, as listed on one size chart.

Men:  The male dress forms usually end at US size 46 with the waist being smaller than the hips.  Since many American men no longer have this body shape, additional padding may be required for a better fit around the stomach.  If men’s clothing is based upon standard dress forms, is the fit of men’s shirts truly correct?

Children:  The child and toddler dress forms tend to be full body forms with certain measurements for each size. Since the obesity rate of the children is rising globally, the question becomes, do the currently available children forms still match the same shape and size that are needed for today children’s wear?

A little review: If you need a background on dress forms, The University of Fashion has a video that categorizes various types of Dress Forms.

Link:  https://www.universityoffashion.com/lessons/introduction-to-dress-forms

 

TRADITIONAL MANUFACTURING DRESS FORMS

Permission granted from The Shop Company

Permission granted from Classy Dress Forms

There are many companies that make direct pinnable and partially pinnable dress forms in the US.  The shape differences are intended to define features (buttocks or busts) or maternity shapes for women. Most companies who make the directly pinnable also sell partially pinnable forms and display forms.  The companies who manufacture traditional dress forms include Dress Forms USA, Superior Model Form Company, Dress Rite Forms Company, PGM Dress Forms, Ronis Brothers, Roxy Display, Only Mannequins, The Shop Company, Subastral Inc., and Classy Dress Forms.  See Table 1, Pinnable Dress Forms at the end of the blog for more details on pinnable dress forms.

Direct Pinnable: The foam thickness is deep enough to handle pins going straight into the form.

Partially Pinnable: The padding thickness is deep enough to handle pins going in at an angle into the form.

 

Should standard forms represent many different body shapes or only hourglass?

Dress Forms from Demographics

With consumer demands, companies are now expanding beyond the traditional sized dress forms.  Even brands not focused on size specific body shape (e.g., plus size) will utilize a range of mannequins and dress forms that have variations in waist-to-hip or waist-to-bust ratios.

 

Alvanon

Permission granted from Alvanon

Alvanon performed extensive anthropometric research to better address garment fit for the branded target customer market.   Custom forms (AlvaForm) are focused on sales regions and demographics of interest.  Alvanon forms are industrial grade and equipped with full functionality for fit evaluation.  The shape of the forms is accurately shaped and proportioned from physical characteristics derived from relevant consumer data.  There is an extensive selection of size categories, for different regions and industries based on population characteristics. The cost range for the Alvanon forms is $1625 to $3450.

Alvanon not only has the data and physical forms available, but also provides Virtual AlvaForm avatars that can be shared between garment designers, technologists and across the supply chain for initial prototyping or sampling.

 

If brands sell garments solely by region, will it be harder to buy clothing on vacation unless you are in the same size range as the locals?  Note to self: Do not forget any clothing before you travel.

 

LARGE MANUFACTURING CUSTOM DRESS FORMS

Some of the companies that make traditional manufacturing dress forms also make custom dress forms that are modified by the customer measurements.  Requirements for the customer information are obtained by measurements or casting.

 

Superior Model Form Company

Professional Missy Fullbody Form, With Arms and Chrome Base. Permission granted from Superior Model Form Company

The Superior Model Form Company has custom and standard dress forms. Customer measurements can be used to create a unique dress form or to fit certain demographics.   The custom forms cost about twice as much as standard forms.

The custom forms are available in the following:  Women, full body or half body forms; Men’s full body and jacket forms; and Children and Toddler full body forms.

 

PGM Dress Forms

Special Size Custom Made Dress Forms. Permission granted from PGM Dress Forms

PGM custom forms can be made from measurements provided by the customer either at a PGM show room or at an on-site service center.  Alternatively, the customer can provide their own measurements.  PGM provides another service that duplicates the brands’ current dress forms.  The forms can be constructed as half-body, full-body, as a sculpture model or a gypsum model, obtained from mold fittings or from measurement fittings of Women, Men or Children.  The cost range for custom forms range from $1400 to $4000.

 

Classy Dress Forms

Permission granted from Classy Dress Forms

At Classy Dress Forms, a custom-made series of soft mannequins can be made based from customer’s desired measurements and photos or from an existing mannequin.  A 3D model is created first for customer approval. The cost is $1390 per dress form.  The mannequin has a soft jersey cover without draping lines.

 

ROBOTIC MANNEQUINS

Another level of mannequins and body shape involves robotic mannequins from two different companies:  one in France and another in Hong Kong. The cost for the robotic mannequins is very expensive and these solutions are only practical for larger companies.  Robotic mannequins can be used to test clothing for medical, sport and fashion.

 

Euveka

Permission granted from Euveka

Permission granted from Euveka

Euvka has developed Emineo, a female robotic mannequin and its companion design software, Mineo. Emineo is a scalable robot for sizes 36 to 46 with rapid deformation in less than a minute.  Mineo can be used integrally or by zone to change height or width in less than 30 seconds in accordance with the body and garment size. Busts are modeled with a breast box that varies in size from A to E.  Spare covers are specially designed to aide visualization of the plumb lines.  Robotic mannequins for adult males and children are in development.  Cost range of the robotic mannequin is available by quote. To learn more: https://www.euveka.com/en/blog-2/

 

Winswin

Permission granted from Winswin

A Hong Kong based company Winswin has robotic mannequins (called iDummy) in female and male products lines, in shapes of full body, top body and bottom body forms. The body panels are based on human body research.  The range of proportions are closer to Asian sizes.  For example, for women, busts range from 78 to 100 cm (30.7” – 39.4”), hips range from 89 to 108 cm (35” – 42.5”) and heights range from 154 to 172 cm (5’ to 5’8”). For men, chests range from 88 to 108 cm (34.6” – 42.5”, hips range from 91 to 111 cm (35.8” – 43.7”), and heights range from 172 to 190 cm (5’7 ¾” – 6’2 ¾”).  The cost of the robotic mannequins is available by quote.

Covers would need to be fabricated to make it partially pinnable.

Should adjustable forms be made for commercial level durability without the robotics?

Summary

As described in Part One and Part Two blog posts, the physical forms that allow brands to test designs for size inclusivity are improving. The cost of true custom forms is still very expensive relative to the cost of the “off-the-shelf” forms.  Virtual forms are becoming more popular (and a topic of a future blog). However, the capability to change physical form is important to designers and students to understand body shapes and garment interactions.

Clearly the field is open to innovations – either by using robotics or easily fabricated body shaped dress forms.  

How should dress forms to be more inclusive?

 

Table 1: Partially or Fully Pinnable Dress Forms

Dress Forms USA
https://dressformsusa.com/collections/display-dress-forms
Pinnable half body forms, Realistic buttocks: Women’s 2-24; Male 36-46;
Pinnable Children Full Body Forms, 3 M to 14 T (G &B);
Display forms (that allows for use of pins) as well: Women’s 2-20, Men’s size 40
Form Types: Pinnable, Display
Shape Differences: Sell Fabulous Fit System
Cost Range: Display, $120 – $200; Dress Forms, $257- $679

 

Superior Model Form Company
http://superiormodel.com/community/
http://www.superiormodel.com/52-custome-dress-maker-forms
Standard forms for Women’s 4 -16, 22; Men’s 38 to 46, Bridal form with Derriere Women’s 4-14;
Certain Dress forms, ¾ forms, Leg forms not custom
Custom: Women, full body or half body forms; Men’s full body form, jacket form and Children, Toddler full body forms
Form Types: Pinnable, Display, Vintage
Shape Differences: Make custom forms from measurements
Cost Range: $470 to $1200+

 

Dress Rite Forms Company
https://www.dressriteforms.collections/dress-forms
Pinnable Dress Forms – both half body and full body forms;
Half body Women’s 2-24, full body 2-20; Men’s half and full body 36-42, Pinnable Children Full Body Forms, 3 M to 14 T (G &B); half scale Women’s 2-16
Form Types: Pinnable, Display
Shape Differences: Make custom forms by casting of person
Cost Range: $300 – $800

 

PGM Dress Forms
https://www.pgmdressform.com/Plus-Size-Women-Dressmaker-Form
Women Dress Form and Full Body, 0-20; Women Lingerie, 4-10; Juniors Dress and Full Body, 5-15; Women Half and Full Body size 16L- 30L; Men’s Half and Full Body, 36-52; Men’s Half and Full Body 36Y – 48Y; Children Full Body, 6M – 24M; Girl Full Body 7G- 14G; Boy Full Body, S, M, L; Full body with legs, double function, allowing to insert pole through center or through leg.
Form Types: Pinnable at angle
Shape Differences: Makes Custom forms from measurements and sell Fabulous Fit System
Cost Range: $300 – $500

 

Ronis Brothers
http://www.ronis.com/category_s/3.htm
Women’s Dress and Full Body, 4-16, or 12- 24; Junior’s dress and full body 7-15; Men’s dress and full body 34-46; Children’s dress and full body 2 to 6X; Boy’s and Girl’s dress and full body 7-16; Infant dress and full body 3M to 24 M; Young men’s 34-46;
Form Types: Partially Pinnable, Display
Shape Differences: None on website
Cost Range: $845 – $1350

 

Roxy Display
https://www.roxydisplayinc.com/webpage/dressforms/femalehalf.html
Women’s Half dress forms, size 2-24; Full dress forms, 2-20; Men’s Half and Full dress forms 36-42; Children’s 3M- 12T
Form Types: Partially Pinnable
Shape Differences: Sell own pad kit
Cost Range: $200 – $500

 

Only Mannequins
http://onlymannequins.com/Pages/Male-Female-Dress-Froms.php
See Row 2: Women Magnetic, Pro Size 2- 20; Men Size 36-42
Form Types: Fully Pinnable, Mannequins, Displays
Shape Differences: None on website
Cost Range: $135 – $215

 

The Shop Company
https://theshopcompany.com/
https://theshopcompany.com/dress-forms/professionals.html
Women Dress 0-24 and Full Body, 0-20; Men Dress and Full Body 36-46; Children Full Body 3M – 14, Children Half body 54-70
Form Types: Pinnable, Display, Mannequins
Shape Differences: Sell Fabulous Fit System
Cost Range: $200 – $550

 

Subastral Inc
https://www.subastralinc.com/dress-forms.html
Women Dress Form 2- 12, Dress From 2-18; Women Plus size 14- 24, 18L-24L; Women Plus size Full body 14L -20L, 16L-26L; Men and Children display and mannequins
Form Types: Partially Pinnable, Displays, Mannequins
Shape Differences: None on website
Cost Range: $80 – $640

 

Classy Dress Forms
https://classydressforms.com/catalog/
Women Half Body Form 2-16 US, 34-48 EU; Arms and Heads available
Form Types: Fully Pinnable, Polymer construction, cotton cover
Shape Differences: Make Custom forms from measurements or from existing Mannequin
Cost Range: Dress Forms $450

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE DRESS FORM INDUSTRY 2019 – SMALL SCALE MANUFACTURING

Permission granted from Alvanon

Dress forms and body shape – can the standard dress form hourglass figure be improved upon?

With consumers demanding size inclusivity and better fitting garments, garment manufacturers are forced to take a more serious approach to matching design aesthetic to body shape. Design and pattern-making must adapt to consumer driven needs and wants. No longer will a single-size dress form suffice for an entire product line.  Dress forms used in the fashion industry are also referred to as dress makers dummies, Judies, mannequins; however, they must not be confused with store display mannequins. This blog reviews the dress forms that are available, for small-scale manufacturing, to make body shape inclusive garment design possible. Large-scale manufacturing will be covered in a subsequent blogpost entitled, “What’s Happening in The Dress Form Industry 2019 – Part Two.”

Note: The companies below are examined from a U.S. perspective.  Any companies wishing to be added to this list should contact the University of Fashion. Information contained in this post reflects the known status as of March 2019.  Cost ranges are noted in U.S. dollars and do not include shipping or taxes. Please double check links for the latest information.

SMALL SCALE MANUFACTURING – ADJUSTABLE FORMS

Adjustable Forms

Adjustable forms, which have been around for many years, are targeted to the home sewing and low volume sewing markets.  Note that any active movement (this includes breathing) by the customer affects measurements of the upper body including but not limited to the waist, bust and under bust.  Only one brand (Ronis Brothers) has an adjustable breast location. The measurement range for adjustment varies by form brand, so understanding the dimensional variations is required.

Permission granted from Singer

Permission granted from Ronis Brothers

The adaptability of these forms is limited to girth and height, and the resulting shapes will approximate traditional sizing charts. Even after accounting for nominal size, these forms still need pads to adjust for proper shape.  The adjustable dress maker forms cannot be used for draping, as direct pinning is not possible.  The companies who manufacture adjustable forms include:  Singer, Dritz, PGM Dress Forms, Ronis Brothers, and Rozy Display.  See Table 2, Adjustable Dress Forms at the end of this blog for more details.

 

SMALL SCALE MANUFACTURING – BODY SHAPE PADDING KITS

Available Foam Pads Kits

Foam Pads Kits are being used to further adapt and customize dress forms, full body forms, and adjustable dress forms/mannequins. These pads can be used with any sewing mannequin or dress form or full body form by any brand for both women and men.

If you have an inverted triangle shape, you will need to size the dress form based off your hips and pad the bust. If a diamond body shape is appropriate, you will need to determine which is the smallest between the bust or hips, and then pad the waist.  Most derrieres on dress forms are pretty flat, so if your shape is different, padding will be required, and you may need to start with a smaller size and add padding to attain the appropriate shape.  Depending on the garment (corset versus sports bra), the configuration of the breast can take on different shapes and the padding may vary.

Fabulous Fit Dress Form Fitting System

Permission granted from Fabulous Fit Dress Form Fitting System

The Fabulous Fit Dress Form Fitting System is an off-the-shelf pad system which has 17 pads and two body covers and is sized to fit various dress form sizes (small to extra-large).  The padding allows for adding 1 to 3 inches (2.5 cm to 7.6 cm) in various areas on the dress form. Due to the number of pads, various body types can be accommodated.  These can include straight/broad/round shoulders, wide/small back, high/low rib cage, high/low/large bust line, large stomach, high/low upper hip area, full upper hip, thighs and large hips, and others.  Extra pads for bust, stomach, side back, side hips and thighs are available.  Dress form covers are available in either side-seam cover, princess seam, or with a neck-to-ankle princess cover with a back zipper.  There are instruction videos on the company’s website for adding appropriate padding in proper locations.

Roxy Display Standard Pads

Permission granted from Roxy Display

Roxy Display offers yet another dress form padding system.  It consists of a 12-piece system that can be applied to all standard dress forms.  Pads are listed for shoulder, bust, stomach, hip, and waist. The stretch cover is shown fitting over a size 6 form.  Instructions are shown on the Roxy Display website. The cost is around $30.

 

SMALL SCALE CUSTOM DRESS FORMS

How to Create Your Own Custom Dress Form or Have One Made

To save money, there are many DIY posts on creating your own dress form.  Methods can be summarized as body casting, good-old duct tape, or patterns. The links in the following table are not all inclusive but give examples of different methods.

Table 1: Home Methods

Body Casting

Jezebel

https://jezebel.com/how-to-make-a-custom-dress-form-part-one-5803791
https://jezebel.com/how-to-make-a-custom-dress-form-part-two-5806327?tag=diy

Verrier

http://verrier-processes.blogspot.com/2010/02/body-casting-with-plaster-of-paris.html

 

Duct Tape
Howcast

Threads Magazine

https://www.threadsmagazine.com/2008/10/24/quick-and-easy-duct-tape-dress-form

 

Patterns
Boot Strap Fashion
https://patterns.bootstrapfashion.com/diy-dress-form-sewing-pattern.html
Instructables
https://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-Dress-Form/
Mermaid’s Den
https://mermaidsden.com/blog/2017/05/25/make-a-custom-dress-form

Would you want to try any of these methods?

Dress Forms from Scanning

Custom forms tend to be for an individual and therefore, creating a body form for everyone is not scalable in the retail market. One form per customer would not be practical.  However, if a brand wants to have dress forms of various shapes for design purposes, custom forms developed from fit models or models that match closely with the brands market may be a good place to start.   Requirements for customer information are obtained by measurements only, phone app or body scanning.

Beatrice Forms

Permission granted from Beatrice Forms

Process Flow, Permission granted from Beatrice Forms

Beatrice Forms focuses on creating custom dress forms.  They do not create standard forms at all.   It is a multi-step process.  The customer uses an iPhone app (only iPhone – no android) along with a body scanning kit to record the customer’s shape and measurements. The scanning process is shown on a You Tube video linked from the Beatrice Forms website. From app-produced videos, a 3D model of the body is created to cut the dress form from the foam.   A cover for the dress form is provided. The privacy policy for Beatrice Forms is listed on the company’s website and is listed in the links below. The EU privacy guidelines are listed for any EU citizens living in US or Canada.

If the customer changes their mind and does not want a form, there is a charge for the scanning kit. The cost for the first custom form is around $1200+ range. If a customer needs a bodice update, the cost is about half of the first form.

 

 

Personal Fashion / Ditto Form

Permission granted from Ditto Form

Ditto Form, Michigan LLC working thru Personal Fashion is another company that makes a copy of the customer’s body into a dress form with crotch.  The company has set up a scanning schedule for U.S. customers for calendar year 2019.  Further information is available on the PersonalFashion.us website.  The process involves a 3D scan using a Styku scanner. The resulting digital image is overlaid onto a durable yet flexible foam form.  The finished product comes with a custom cover that is matte grey knit with black markings.

Customer data is not shared with StykuStyku does use the aggerated data, as stated in the customer agreement, but there is no way to identify individuals.  However, Ditto Form does keep the original and working files from orders up to one year.  Scans not immediately placed into dress forms are kept for up to six months.

There is a charge for the scan that is incorporated into the dress form cost.  The total cost for the custom dress form is around $1400+.  An independent full body 3D scan is available as well for $500.

Links:

https://dittoform.com/high-resolution/

https://dittoform.com/products/

https://personalfashion.us/

https://dittoform.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Getting-Ready-for-Your-3D-Body-Scan.pdf

 

Classy Dress Forms

Permission granted from Classy Dress Forms

Classy Dress Forms is another company that uses 3D scanning to obtain customer data and after processing the data, manufactures a 3D model by a 5-axis milling center accurate to 0.5 mm.  A jersey cover is individually sewn for each dress form. The cost is $1690.  However, this does not include the travel expenses of the measuring specialist. They are paid separately.

If scanning and phone apps become more common, would more shapes of dress forms become available for smaller brands or start-ups?

Summary

The physical forms that allow brands to test designs for size inclusivity are improving. However, the cost of true custom forms can be very expensive compared to the cost of the “off-the-shelf” forms.  However, the capability to change physical forms is important for students to understand body shapes such that garment interactions may change with various body shapes, especially when designing fully bespoke garments.  Students can learn to appreciate different body shapes by using pads in conjunction with standard dress forms as an affordable option.

Students should ask themselves, how they would change dress forms to be more inclusive?

Table 2: Adjustable Dress Forms

Singer
https://www.singer.com/notions/dress-forms
3 sizes: Small/ Medium – sizes 4-10; Medium/ Large – sizes 10-18;
Medium/ Large – sizes 16-22; 360 degree Hem Guide
Flannel exterior with foam backing,
12-13 adjustments (neck, bust, waist, hips, height)
Form Type: Partially Pinnable – can pin to a top layer of fabric
Shape Differences: Circumference changes only
Cost Range: $160 – $180

 

Dritz
https://www.dritz.com/quilting-sewing-supplies/dressforms/
https://www.dritz.com/quilting-sewing-supplies/dressforms/my-double-deluxe/20406/
5 women’s sizes: petite, small, medium, large and full size
Child adjustable – 6-12 years of age
Form Type: Partially Pinnable
Shape Differences: Circumference changes only, padding tutorials on website
Cost Range: $147 – $320

 

PGM Dress Forms
https://www.pgmdressform.com/Adjustable-Fitting-Dress-Forms-PGM-Sewing-Dress-Form-Chicago
Two sizes, 4 and 8, adjustable 3 sizes up,
Form Type: Pinnable at an angle
Shape Differences: Circumference changes only
Cost Range: $199

 

Ronis Brothers
http://www.ronis.com/Ronis_Bros_Adjustable_Dress_Form_NY_p/ad-001.htm
jz@ronis.com
Size varies from size 4 to size 20, allows for both increasing and decreasing the bust and will raise and lower the bust as well with dual levels at the bottom of the form. Size will be indicated when turning the upper knob
Form Type: Partially Pinnable
Shape Differences: Circumference changes, Bust can be raised and lowered
Cost Range: Around $600

 

Roxy Display
https://www.roxydisplayinc.com/webpage/bodyforms/female/other/jf-fh-2.html
One size, Adjustment Dial (Bust, Waist, Hips)
Foam-Backed Fabric Exterior allows you to easily pin dresses, skirts, tops and patterns.
Height Adjustment lets you customize the dress form to your height.  2 sizes,
Form Type: Partially Pinnable
Shape Differences: Circumference changes along with separate Roxy foam padding kit
Cost Range: $125 – $135