Epson Helps Kick Off Fashion Week

Los Angeles designer Maggie Barry created this gown as part of her “Space Tribe” collection.

Epson wants to do for fashion what it once helped do for photography: usher the craft into a new digital age. The manufacturer of printers and other technology showcased its Digital Couture project during a pre-Fashion Week party in Manhattan’s West Village. Featuring mini collections from 11 up-and-coming designers from across the Western hemisphere, who showcased the latest in sublimated styles: from dreamy, flowing gowns to high-concept, zipper-heavy unisex looks.

The event marks a major push into the fashion world for Epson, according to Mark Radogna, an executive in the company’s commercial imaging group. “Polyester is actually a very big part of the fashion industry,” Radogna says. “Fashion designers are able to see their vision right away, going from concept to cut and sew in the same day.”

The designers featured at the show raved about the possibilities afforded by sublimation technology. Maggie Barry, a Los Angeles designer who has created custom pieces for celebrities such as Lady Gaga, loves the modern look and versatility of polyester and the soft hand of the sublimated prints. “It’s really the future,” she says. Chilean designer Marco Antonio Farias says sublimation freed him to indulge in passing inspirations, rather than stick to a rigid theme. “I was able to translate my emotions with sublimation,” he says. Moah Saldaña, a 22-year-old designer from Peru, says dye sublimation saved him a lot of time in developing the “cyber punk”-inspired separates he created.