My very close friend Ellan Fei Spero, a current PhD candidate through the HASTS program, created this dress design a few years back:
She created the tree shapes using recursive fractals in processing and then laser cut the fabric. Laser cutting fulfilled two things for her:
it created precise shapes in the fabric she chose, and the heat of the laser seared the edges of the fabric adding to the precision and prevented fraying.
Laser cut fabrics are very popular actually for that reason – they do not fray and create a very specific and sharp shape.
Ellan originally wanted to add LEDs to the dress to mimic a beating heart, however, they very proving very difficult to attach to her intricate design. You can see her tests for the heartbeat here: