It was an exciting Oscar night for Julia Körner. The film Black Panther, for which she had designed a 3D printed costume, was nominated in eight categories. Black Panther finally took the Oscars for three of them – including “her” Best Costume Design.
Costume designer Ruth Carter sought the help of architect and 3D designer Körner to create the lead actress’ crown and cape. The idea was to create a synergy between the traditional African aesthetics and the state-of-the-art technology. Körner had worked on the project for approximately four months. As she crafted a 3D model, it had to be extremely precise. A traditional 2-dimensional model could still be modified after cutting, whereas this isn’t possible when using 3D printing techniques.
Körner had already designed for several Parisian couture houses, but Black Panther was her breakthrough within the film industry. After being nominated for her work in January and experiencing an exciting Oscar night, she is now overjoyed. Körner: “I could never have dreamt that this film would be such a success and win three Oscars.”
Ruth Carter was also overjoyed and thanked Körner for her participation: “The crown and the pieces she made were elegant, intricate, sleek and absolutely iconic. I am therefore euphoric and grateful for her contribution, she certainly played a leading role.”
On the night of the Oscars, Carter wore a 3D printed stole from Körner’s fashion brand JK Design, which wrote history. According to Carter, it was the first time someone wore a 3D printed fashion-piece on the red carpet of the exclusive Vanity Fair Oscar Night Party. Körner used the printing technique to tailor the stole for Carter. Its shape is inspired by the sculptural style of the Spanish fashion designer Balenciaga of the 1950s. The visible African patterns are reminiscent of the fabric designs in Seydou Keita‘s photographs from the sixties.
The Oscar for best costume design on the 24th of February 2019, was the third prize Carter and Körner received for their work. In January, the costume design was honoured with the Critics Choice Award – an award presented by film critics. On the 19th of February they received the Costume Designers Guild Award in the Excellence in Sci-Fi/Fantasy category.
The interdisciplinary designer was born in Salzburg and has been teaching at the Architecture Institute of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) since 2012. In 2015, she founded her own fashion brand, JK Design, which specialises in 3D printing. Ever since, her creations have received national and international awards and have been presented in group exhibitions in museums.
Here is the interview we had earlier with Julia Körner on the occasion of the Oscar nomination of Black Panther.