Clothing designers don’t have to limit themselves to fabric, needle, and thread. Royal College of Art textile student Jungeun Lee, for one, removes them from the equation altogether. To create her “Wrapped Garments,” Lee molds synthetic yarn around a form to create the desired silhouette—no cutting or sewing required. By applying heat (look Ma, no seams!), the tangled fibers fuse into three-dimensional wearable sculptures with clean lines, decisive shapes, and unexpected contours.
Her materials may be petroleum-based, but Lee’s process is noteworthy all the same. By designing in free form rather than through deliberation, Lee allows the fiber to transform itself without the colossal amounts of waste that traditional construction methods involve.
Lee’s process all but eliminates the colossal amount of waste that traditional sewing methods.
What results is a collection of latticework dresses, tunics, jackets, and even shoes that are as visually arresting as they are innovative. But Lee, who is one-half of Studio Koya, sees applications beyond avant-garde fashion. “The technique I have developed can also be applied to creating products.” she says.