Thursday, February 09, 2017

Better Bets by Rhonda Erb

Epson Digital Couture Project 2017

Epson digital couture fashion panel
Photo: Courtesy Epson

To kick off New York Fashion Week, Epson, a global leader in textile printing innovation, held a Fashion and Technology forum on Tuesday afternoon at Chelsea Piers, in Manhattan. The forum consisted of a panel of fashion and apparel industry experts, moderated by the vice president and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Anthony Cenname. Other members of the panel included Paolo Crespi, of For Tex Textile Solutions; fashion designer Erin Fetherston; Barry McGeough, Group VP at PVH Innovation Next; Sunao Murata, COO of Professional Printing Operations Division at Seiko Epson Corporation; Tom Nastos, President Women’s Fashion UBM Americas; MarK A. Sunderland, University of Philadelphia; and Assaf Ziv, Creative Director at Elie Tahari.

Epson F-Series printer
Photo: Rhonda Erb

The panel discussion focused on the many ways that technology has changed the fashion industry, including market trends and predictions as to what influence technology might have on the future of fashion. For instance, technology has created new sources of inspiration for designers: Erin Fetherston remarked that as a fashion student she used to check out old issues of Vogue at the library, but now, thanks to social media, she has resources, like Instagram, right at her fingertips. Another “hot topic” was the role of brands in an era of increased productivity and the tendency to want to follow every trend, characterized as “the flight to everything.” The question was raised: “If you speak to everyone, do you speak to no one?”

Fashions from Mexican designer Leonardo Mena
Photos Rhonda Erb

Later that evening, Epson hosted the third annual Digital Couture Project event at New York’s IAC building, showcasing the creativity of an international group of designers using textiles printed with Epson F-Series printers. Utilizing Epson dye-sublimation and direct-to-fabric technology, each designer or design team was able to create a collection of garments built around the theme Textile Stories, featuring original prints of the highest quality, that express their signature style.

Peruvian designer Susan Wagner and her models
Photo: Rhonda Erb

This year’s lineup of designers included: Alexandra Polo and Miguel Moyano from Ecuador, Carlos de Moya from the Dominican Republic, Daniel Barreria from Brazil, Daniela Hoehmann from Chile, Leonardo Mena from Mexico, Lindsay Degen from the United States, Philadelphia University from the United States, Ricardo Pava from Colombia, Sarah Richards from the United States, Sarah Stevenson from Canada., Sonia Chang and Daniel del Barco from Costa Rica, Susan Wagner from Peru, and Venesa Krongold from Argentina.

Actress Kelly Rutherford
Photo: Rhonda Erb

Guests at the Epson event mingled with the designers while enjoying cocktails, bite-sized grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders. Celebrities in attendance included actresses Kelly Rutherford and Dove Cameron and Real Housewives of New York star Dorinda Medley.

- Rhonda Erb
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