Asian cultures, African tribes, long-forgotten memories and adventurous dreams: Italian fashion and jewelry designer Francesca Paolin creates one-of-a-kind 3D printed jewelry collections. Instead of choosing conventional materials like precious metals for her designs, Francesca surprises us with colorful 3D prints in Polyamide (nylon). Read on to learn more about her refreshing fusion-designs.

Francesca studied fashion and textile design at the renowned Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan. A few years later, Domus Academy offered her a scholarship for a Masters in Fashion Design. After spending years working for major international fashion companies as well as niche high-end designers, and after having been award several prizes, including “Levi’s Womenswear Award 2011”, Francesca decided to launch her own brand: the Paolin label.

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

The brand reflects Francesca’s journeys, dreams and joyful playfulness reminiscent of old memories, where form plays with color, tastes, materials and new cultural combinations. Her collections blend 3D printing technology with handcrafting skills. For her Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”, as well as for her Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”, Francesca 3D printed her jewelry with i.materialise.

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

Francesca’s Spring and Summer 2015 collection “Opposites”

When asked why she decided to use 3D printing for her recent jewelry collections, the Italian designer told us:

“3D printing is the perfect solution for designers because it reduces the cost and time required for prototyping and production. This technology lets me explore new frontiers that I couldn’t image before.”

Francesca grew up amidst the over-the-top fashion of the 80’s and the reactive minimalism of the 90’s. She attributes her passion for fashion to her childhood when she would observe her mother handcraft and knit extremely feminine garments and embroideries as she had learnt from traditional Venetian ladies. She was also inspired, however, by her father who mixed traditional farm clothes with modern outfits. This sense of style has been further enhanced as she traveled and worked abroad, where seeing people wear traditional clothes mixed with that of other cultures.

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Both collections are inspired by lace and embroidery, as well as Francesca’s experiences and dreams. The “Opposites” collection is heavily influenced by an adventurous dream set in a place that linked traditional fashion of Nepal, Latin America and Africa. The “Nostalgia” collection on the other hand is rather liked to memories of playing in meadows, fabric scraps in warm and wintery colors, melting local tradition with components from far distant countries. It’s about “shaping modern objects [reminiscent] of ancient memories”.

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

Francesca’s Fall and Winter 2015/2016 collection “Nostalgia”

For creating her 3D models, Francesca often creates a general outline of the new design in Adobe Illustrator. She then imports this basic design to Maya where she finally constructs a stunning 3D model and orders her 3D prints in natural Polyamide from i.materialise.

Francesca decided to dye the prints herself:

“I love colors and I wanted to find new color combinations. At the beginning I tried different types of spray paint, but after some wear and tear, the paint was coming off. After doing some research, I noticed that many designers use fabric dyes to color their 3D printed models. So I bought several fabrics dyes and started to experiment!”

Francesca designs her 3D models in Maya.

Francesca designs her 3D models in Maya.

She then orders her 3D prints from i.materialise in natural Polyamide.

She then orders her 3D prints from i.materialise in natural Polyamide.

Francesca then dyes the prints herself.

Francesca then dyes the prints herself.

If you want to find out more about Francesca Paolin, you can visit her website here. If you are interested in our other fashion-related stories, you should read our latest blog posts about Melina Looi’s Ocean Collection and Anouk Wipprecht’s Spider Dress.