What I love about costuming is how some things have stayed the same for decade; while other things are constantly changing. For instance, this spring while I was working on Wizard of Oz I was introduced to the concept of printing pattern pieces directly onto plain white fabric.
With some basic photoshop skills and a great imagination one could create anything from one flowing dress with a glorious seascape, to a legion of flying monkeys. The possibilities are only hampered by your own imagination and kind of fabric you choose.
For Oz one of our visiting artists suggested printing the pieces for flying monkey vests and the winkie helmets on satin to create the illusion of a metal finish. The result was lovely on stage and gave the desired effect.
What was interesting was that each vest pattern piece was scaled to fit the actor wearing it. One only had to follow the seam allowance printed around the pattern piece and sew. Also, with the help of photoshop, shading can be placed to create the illusion of layers. Trims are also a cinch since they are already printed directly onto the garment.
The drawback of this system of creating costume pieces is, if you tear, miscut, or ruin a piece, there isn't a way to quickly cut a new one. This system also wouldn't work for every show. It should be for a focal piece, or a slew of pieces that would take eons to complete if done another way.