IRIS VAN HERPEN: ARCHITECTURAL KNOWLEDGE IS VITAL IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

"The 3D printer becomes more like a new form of embroidery," Iris Van Herpen.

By Balthazar Malevolent

IRIS VAN HERPEN: ARCHITECTURAL KNOWLEDGE IS VITAL IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

Van Herpen is renowned for creating elaborate collections of sculptural fashion couture. To help her develop the unusual materials and techniques she uses in her designs, she often collaborates with architects. "In a sense, the expertise within architecture is very useful for material creation on a smaller scale," confirms the designer "This is how techniques are really converted on a larger scale into fine texture or fabrics."

Iris van Herpen runway.

Van Herpen was among the first fashion designers to promote the use of 3D printing in her designs, a technique introduced to her by Benthem Crouwel Architects, Amsterdam studio.

"For their model making they used 3D printing and I was really fascinated by the intricacy in detail," said Van Herpen.

Iris van Herpen runway.

She has collaborated with Benthem Crouwel Architects along with architect Daniel Widrig to create a series of dramatic 3D-printed garments for her Crystallization collection in Spring 2011.

As part of her Capriole collection in autumn 2011, which was created in collaboration with the architect Isaïe Bloch, she followed this up with a completely 3D-printed skeleton-like dress.

Iris van Herpen runway.

Since then Van Herpen has been using 3D printing in her work, such as her 2013 Voltage collection and 2015 Magnetic Motion collection. She has also worked with Rem D Koolhaas to create a pair of high heels 3D-printed, reminiscent of the tree roots.

However, Van Herpen said she has used the technology more recently to create softer materials that behave more like traditional fabrics.

"When I started 3D-printing, I used it very much the way an architect would use it, but now the fabric-making knowledge is really being implemented in the way we work with a 3D printer," she explained.

"The 3D printer is becoming more like a modern way of embroidery," said Van Herpen.

Not only does Van Herpen collaborate with the architects. She has worked with experts from a host of different disciplines, frequently working along with artists and designers on her runway shows.

Designer Iris van Herpen.
No results

Shop now