Thoughts on Digital Prints – dull or innovative?

I recently had a debate with a group of local bloggers on the whole digital prints craze. While it definitely shows how technology – a rather huge part of our daily lives these days – has slowly seeped into the fashion world, seeing too much of it just makes people wonder how will clothes look like ten more years down the road.

The whole fascination about a piece of garment lies in seeing a pattern being brought to life with handsewn embroideries, embellishments or beadings. If designers want to create an artwork on a blank piece of fabric they would need to manually make it come alive, manipulating fabrics, mixing yarns of different colours, making patchworks etc. Steps like that that shows how much blood and sweat are involved in transforming a vision to reality.

When a pattern or an image is printed directly on a fabric, the first feeling I get upon seeing is – flat, and dry. I would start visualizing the entire garment without the prints and sometimes it’s just a piece of nothing, no shapes, no tailoring, no thoughts – not exciting at all. Sometimes you sort of get the idea that some designers these days spend more time at the computer than the studio.

But it seems to be money-making, a gorilla-print t-shirt can be the most talked-about and most sort after item in the season.

A certain Italian designer printed his own face onto a dress from his latest Fall/Winter 11/12 collection – the dress made the cover of a certain edition of Vogue by the way – does that make a statement?

Designers can print anything from dogs to hotdogs, but there is this sense of lack of beauty in seeing too much digital on garments season after season that makes it frustrating to figure out whether the technique is a score or snore.