Kathi Martin

3D Simulations for the Two Sided Dress: Realizing Historic Fashion

Developments in complex 3D surface modeling have facilitated  CAD software for the physically-based simulation of clothes, readily adaptable to any body type and motion, which can construct complex ensembles and reproduce their dynamic movements with a striking degree of realism. Historic fashion collections no longer dress their garments on live bodies as to do so would stress and deteriorate these finite objects. An international team of fashion design, digital media and computer scientists are working together to create 3D simulations of selected holdings from the Drexel historic Costume Collection. This presentation addresses how creating these compelling 3D replicants can enhance the fashion experience and help the designer, scholar and student “consider the dressed body as subject in and object of, (the) two sided quality of dress.” (Tranberg Hansen, 2004, p. 372)

Historic fashion 3D simulations


Kathi Martin

Kathi investigating early “magic mirror” technology at the Hermés Museum, Seoul, South Korea.

Kathi Martin is an Associate Professor in and Director of the Graduate Fashion Program in the Product, Fashion, and Design & Merchandising Department in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, and Director of the Drexel Digital Museum Project: Historic Costume Collection, http://digimuse.cis.drexel.edu . She holds a BFA in Printmaking from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, and an MSIS from the College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University.  She teaches a variety of traditional fashion design and CAD courses and has many publications in multi-cultural, multi-discipline new technology for fashion design and historic fashion representation, thesauri for textiles and historic costume, and searchable online databases and quality image capture for collections websites. Since 2008 she has led the American representatives of an international team of fashion designers, and computer and information scientists researching virtual humans and their roles in fashion design and conservation of cultural heritage, under the direction of Dr. Hyeong-Seok Ko, Director of Graphics & Media Lab, Seoul National University. Before coming to Drexel University, she had her own fashion design company, Bobolocon, for 25 years, selling hand silk screened designer sportswear to Harvey Nichols, Henri Bendel, Barney’s, Neiman Marcus and other fine specialty stores in England and the United States.

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