Tessa’s Designer Pick – Iris van Herpen

2019-02-08

Tessa Blokland  

Detail from Iris van Herpen's 3D printed dress part of the “Hacking Infinity” Fall/Winter 2015-16 collection,

One of the designers who use 3D printing extensively for expressing her creative vision is Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen. She uses 3D printing, not for the idea of 3D printing, but for the possibilities the technique offers. The combination of different materials and techniques in her dresses makes every piece a unique and incredible design. To me, Van Herpen is a craftswoman with an extremely imaginative creative mind, combining several techniques to make her ideas and inspiration tangible. Here are just a few examples of her designs.

The jewelry piece the model is wearing is called ‘Cellchemy’ and is 3D printed in collaboration with the Delft University of Technology. The one-off piece was developed through a generative design process based on a 3D scan of a face. The jewelry is part of Van Herpen’s latest haute couture show, Shift Souls, presented last month in Paris.

This dress is part of the Ludi Naturae collection, presented during the Paris Fashion Week 2018. For the design of this dress, Van Herpen collaborated with scientists from the Delft University of Technology as well. Tulle fabric was inserted into the printer bed so that the smaller parts of the dress could be sewn together into a single piece. In total, the 3D printing took 260 hours to complete and the handwork required another 60 hours of work.

During the Paris Fashion Week of 2016, Van Herpen presented Hacking Infinity, which this 3D printed dress is part of. She worked on the dress together with architect/designer Niccolò Casas. What I like about the dress is how the individual interlocking 3D printed elements (see detail in top image) all come together in one sculptural object.

The black net-like dress, designed with the help of Austrian architect Julia Koerner and 3D printed by Materialise, was part of the 2013 Voltage collection. The dress was 3D printed in TPU, a flexible and soft material. Because of the complexity of the structure using 3D printing was the only technique that could fabricate this dress.

The black and white dress, also part of the Voltage collection, was created with the help of American–Israeli architect/designer Neri Oxman. For this dress, Van Herpen asked for the help of Stratasys. What’s unique here is the use of a variety of material properties, printed in a single build, allowing both hard and soft materials within the design, which are crucial to the movement and texture of the piece.

The bottom image of a dress by Van Herpen is also the oldest in this blog post. The white 3D printed dress was created with Daniel Widrig and was part of the Escapism collection back in 2010. The whole dress is 3D printed whereas in her latest collections you can see that the 3D printing technique is combined with other processes in the creation of the dresses.

LEO Lane_Designer Pick_Iris van Herpen

Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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