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Founded in 2016 by fashion artist Jamela Law and industrial designer Lionel Wong, Baëlf Design specialises in novel manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing and laser-cutting.
The label works with machine and artificial intelligence to create fashion artworks that challenge the norm and experiment with possibilities.
3D rendering of their headpiece
Jamela Law and Lionel Wong
Anthropology of Cultural Dementia Collection
3-D plastic print with TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), PLA (polyactic acid), nylon corset boning with polyester chiffon inner layer
National Museum of Singapore
This piece from Anthropology of Cultural Dementia was inspired by Jing costumes of Chinese opera,
a common form of entertainment, especially popular in late 19th-century Singapore. Jing costumes often feature elaborate embellishment and tessellating patterns of dragon scales and are usually worn by high ranking, mighty male characters.
Here, those elements are replaced by 3D printed intertwined fractal patterns that extend from the body to convey dynamic flight-like movements. The designers referenced the Jing costumes in the collection of the National Museum of Singapore, and this work is one of the four commissioned by the museum.
The designers consider themselves to be future makers of craft, and engage both the physical and digital realms in their design process.
Considering that 3D printing is a relatively new vocation, the designers face a number of challenges. Fabricating garments in-house means that the designers have to constantly pick up new skills to handle new challenges that present themselves.
Like shaping clay, Lionel and Jamela scout and generate skeletal forms on the computer, and take on new modes of creative execution by infusing mathematical expressions into their designs, translating data into a visual art form.