Digital printing in clothing design has had a strong and growing presence on the runway for the past couple years, with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Mary Katrantzou, creating digitally rendered designs using a printer much like the one you use at home. This technology has enabled designers to print almost anything that they desire, disrupting classic patterns. Black Milk clothing has reappropriated the the leopard print – a classic for both preppy crowds and hipsters – and reinterpreted as a digitally printed beer bubbles.
The Australian brand – known for their digitally produced leggings and swimsuits - created the limited edition beer-bubble inspired print as sort of leopard print for the 21st century. Using technology that allows for a macro view of beer bubbles, the print almost takes on another, less familiar, almost abstract quality.
James Lillis started Black Milk in 2009 with a pawn shop sewing machine and $6 (AUD) of nylon. He sewed together his first pair of leggings, and hit the ground running, creating more elaborate designs through digital technology. While he is not the only one who has embraced the ink-jet printer, Black Milk’s high resolution prints, designs that may have been too expensive or time-consuming to make with traditional screen-printing, are becoming the new classics.