Iris van Herpen 'Biopiracy' 2014: shrink-wrapped models and 3D printed flexible dress
On Tuesday, Iris van Herpen unveiled her Biopiracy Collection, her most ambitious and largest collection to date, at Les Docks - Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris.
"It's called biopiracy - the piracy of body, owning something you don't own," said the designer backstage. For this collection, Iris collaborated with the artist Lawrence Malstaf, a specialist in the interaction between biology and physicality. He constructed an installation, where models being suspended in transparent plastic and shrink wrapped into place, creating an unforgettable backdrop for the catwalk.
The finale to 25 other breathtaking ready-to-wear and Haute Couture designs was the 11th dress Iris van Herpen has 3D printed in collaboration with Materialise and Austrian architect, Julia Koerner.
This was van Herpen's third collaboration with Julia Koerner. In 2012 she worked with Koerner for her Autumn/Winter 2012/2013 collection – Hybrid Holism – in which she explored Mammoth Stereolithography for the first time. The result was a 3D Printed dress which one awestruck spectator compared to "liquid honey."
In January 2013, Materialise launched an experimental new material, TPU 92A-1. Designed once more in collaboration with Julia Koerner, van Herpen used the material in her Voltage Collection to a flexible, soft dress with intricate lace-like texture, using Laser Sintering process.
For the dress in her Biopiracy Collection, Iris van Herpen returned once more to Materialise's flexible material for 3D Printing, TPU 92A-1. Iris and Julia used Materialise's Magics software to optimize the design for the 3D Printing process. The dress was printed using Laser Sintering process with flexible TPU 92A-1 material.
The result was then coated in silicon by Iris's team to give the flowing, flexible dress a glossy sheen. Given the intricacy and movement of the design on the catwalk, the dress is a testament to how far 3D Printing materials and technology have progressed.