Athlete Amy Purdy's dress design for her dance at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony by Danit Peleg

  • Designer: Danit Peleg
  • Sector: Fashion - Textil
  • Material: Filaflex 82A elastic filament
  • Mission: Designing athlete Amy Purdy's dress for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony dance

In November 2015, the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games creative team reached out Israeli designer Danit Peleg to design and create the dress that US athlete Amy Purdy would wear at the Opening Ceremony dance.

A unique opportunity to design a stretchy, moving 3D printed dress that would be seen by hundreds of millions of people around the world, including those in attendance at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and those watching the broadcast.

Danit Peleg approached Recreus for help and advice on the material to print the dress with.

CHALLENGE                                                                                                                              

Designing a flexible, comfortable and moving 3D printed dress for Amy Purdy's dance at the Opening Ceremony

Amy Purdy, who contracted bacterial meningitis at the age of 19, had to have both of her legs amputated below the knee as a result. This setback in her youth did not stop her goals, and just 7 months after receiving her prostheses, she started snowboarding again and winning championships.

Danit Peleg, moved by Purdy's story, explained that her story is what is called a rebirth and was inspired by Sandro Botticelli's painting, 'The Birth of Venus'. The many diamond shapes present in the composition of the painting and the nude colour of Venus gave her a direction for the dress and from there she designed it.

The theme of the Opening Ceremony event was to highlight the exploration of the relationship between humans and technology.

To this end, the intention was for Amy to dance a samba with a KUKA robot as if it were a perfect dance partner. And all this with a dress also made with digital technology, that is to say, with 3D printing.

In addition, the dress had to adapt to the dance, so it had to be a stretchy, flexible design with movement.

All this added to the fact that Danit had not met Amy before the first fitting, but only a month before the ceremony, made it difficult to take the measurements.

"I loved the idea of creating a dress for Amy Purdy, a beautiful, strong woman with both legs amputated. Amy is an incredibly strong character and thanks to technology she can now walk, be a Paralympic medallist, dance and star in this incredible ceremony."

Danit Peleg

SOLUTION                                                                                                                                 

Filaflex 82A in nude colour for printing the dress

Selecting the right material for printing the dress was the most important thing in this project because of the use that was to be made of it and the requirements that were demanded. A material was required:

  • elastic and flexible
  • resistant and strong (unbreakable)
  • durable
  • soft to the skin
  • pleasant to the touch
  • similar to real fabric

For this reason, Danit Peleg contacted us so that we could help and advise her on the material and its printing.

To make Amy's dress, we split the work, as we have a printer farm and extruders specifically for printing our Filaflex elastic filament. We helped her print almost half of the patterns for the dress at our facility and then sent them to Israel so she could assemble them all and create the final piece. Kind of like cutting out the patterns and sewing them together, only the assembly of these printed fabrics is done using special glues.

"The dress is completely 3D printed. I used a similar process to the one I had developed the previous year with my collection. I printed it using a soft material called Filaflex made by Recreus, a wonderful and innovative company from Spain that helped me a lot with timing and printing materials."

Danit Peleg

RESULT                                                                                                                              

After 100 hours of printing, we obtain an elastic dress with perfect movement to dance a samba

And the result is better seen than told:

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Do you want to know the material used for Amy's dress? Discover the flexible filament Filaflex 82A?