Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has pioneered the use of 3D printing technology in fashion design since the start of her career, and her latest collection continues to push the boundaries.
Whether you are into fashion or not, there is no denying the captivating nature of van Herpen’s work. By combining modern techniques used in print and architecture, her work blurs the lines between the three industries to create a collection that questions the advances of DNA engineering, whilst taking inspiration from celestial cartography.
The Shift Souls collection was debuted at the Haute Couture SS19 collection show in Paris. van Herpen explains the thinking behind the dresses: “’For Shift Souls I looked at the evolution of the human shape, its idealisation through time and the hybridisation of the female forms within mythology.
“The imagination and the fluidity within identity change in Japanese mythology gave me the inspiration to explore the deeper meaning of identity and how immaterial and mutable it can become within the current coalescence of our digital bodies.”
This is not the first time van Herpen has used 3D printing in her designs – she is often hailed as a pioneer in utilising the technology in garment construction. She was the first designer to send 3D printed fashion pieces down the runway in 2010.
Since then, many major designers have cottoned-on to the possibilities of using additive manufacturing in fashion. van Herpen employs architects and engineers to help translate her designs into digital files that the 3D printers can read.
The Shift Souls collection includes face jewellery – the one-off pieces based on facial scans were 3D printed through a high-resolution multi-material printer, with the help of the Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.
The many layers of her designs were created using gradient-dyed silks that are multi-layered into sculptural shapes by a fine 3D laser cut frame of PETG – a popular filament in 3D printing.
First published on Print Monthly