Fashion designer Iris Van Herpen is famous for challenging the conventions of couture. In 2013, she created a dress with electricity bolting out from its arms. Her pieces are inspired by a huge variety of sources, from water droplets and ice crystals to the shapes seen through a Scanning Electron Microscope.
Her latest collection, called Between the Lines, is a celebration of negative space. In other words, it’s just as much about the parts of the clothing you don’t see as the parts you do. The garments look like exoskeletons, which seem to live on the wearer’s skin rather than merely sitting on it. But these seemingly organic shapes take hundreds of iterations to fabricate, as they’re produced through emerging experimental technology.
This stunning short by Ryan McDaniels, featured on BoingBoing, gives you a rich, behind-the-scenes look at just how Van Herpen makes these garments–which require molding polyurethane and painting it by hand, and Mylar cut by a laser lathe.
For anyone who assumes that a 3D printed dress is less laborious to produce than a cloth one, you’ll come away appreciating the sheer amount of work that goes into this marriage of technology and craft in the upper echelons of the fashion world.