|Susan Scafidi & Steven Kolb
(All photos Lieba Nesis)
The Symposium entitled, “Well Dressed” was held at Fordham Law School at the ungodly hour of 9 AM. While most of the fashion crowd is sleeping at that hour, the audience was overflowing perhaps due to the lawyers and scholars in the audience. I myself am a lawyer (Harvard Law School graduate) and was curious to see how dressing well could be integrated into a scholarly dissertation for nine hours; would the fashion police appear handing out subpoenas and citations to those flouting fashion law? Actually, the program was informative covering topics such as fashion copyright and trademark, fashion philanthropy and not for profits, labor laws for the fashion industry, and the exciting future of 3D fashion printing.
|Mihael Schmidt, a clothing and jewelry designer|
The next panel discussed ecoconscious fashion with most of the panel agreeing that even if a company has a certification for being green or organic it is still necessary for individuals to conduct their own due diligence. The panel on fashion and labor addressed the problems fashion labels were incurring as they move their factories from China to Bangladesh and Pakistan due to the cheaper supply and labor costs. Poor factory conditions and numerous fires have led fashion companies to hire third party monitors to control the situation. Most of the speakers confirmed that fashion labels, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren try to maintain adequate labor conditions for their workforce and most of their employees have high job satisfaction.
|Dita Von Teese 3D gown|
The last panel was both fascinating and frivolous and I enjoyed every minute. The panel discussed 3D printing and how it is currently being used in the construction of high end dresses. The 3D printing allows designers to create dresses through futuristic means in forms previously uncreatable through handiwork alone. Michael Schmidt, a clothing and jewelry designer who has designed costumes for Madonna, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Cher, exhibited the 3D dress he made for Dita Von Teese. He partnered with architect Francis Bitonti, and using complex digital code and lasers, completed a dress four months later which had length, width and also depth making it malleable and wearable at the same time. The cost of the dress was easily over one hundred thousand dollars however, 3D printing is quickly becoming the future of fashion. Eventually, 3D printing will allow people to print their own clothing from home enabling laymen to copy clothing and accessories in vast numbers. Therefore, design patents will be needed to protect designers from mass imitation as reiterated by the entire panel.
|Fashion show of digitally printed dresses|