PHOTOS: Iris Van Herpen Grows Haute Couture Gowns Using Magnets

Most of us are still getting our heads around the idea of 3D printing, but that’s old news for Iris Van Herpen. The Dutch designer had critics tripping balls when she put 3D-printed gowns on the runway all the way back in 2010, and now she’s growing haute couture from magnets.

The gowns are part of the Wilderness Embodied collection Van Herpen showed at Couture Week in Paris. Merging couture with geology, the designer teamed up with product designer Jolan Van Der Wiel. Van Der Wiel’s now spoken about the collaboration in further detail, telling Fast Company’s Co.Design, “I was interested in making invisible forces visible.”

It’s easy to see why the magnet dresses weren’t the collection’s biggest eye-bogglers when they first hit the runway – other gowns utilized materials including rubber chickens – but like with all good couture, it’s all in the finer details.  One of the dark silvery pieces arches around the model like a shell and the other is fitted and skeletonesque, while the texture resembles tiny icicles or a post-apocalyptic cityscape. Each garment took around three weeks to “grow”: A process which consisted of adding a mixture of iron fillings and resin to fabric, then using magnets to pull the substance into strange, spiky textures.

But you’re probably not going to cultivating haute couture gowns like grass heads for a while yet. There’s another material involved, something Van Der Wiel tells Co.Design is “soft and cuddly, though quite heavy,” and we’re guessing is probably not old stockings. But it’s an exciting new force for Van Herpen, her fans (who include Bjork, Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness) and anyone who won’t fret about having their mind blown or their watch broken.

Related links:
The 15 Most Wildly Opulent Gowns From Haute Couture Fall 2013
PHOTO: Dita Von Teese Wears First Dress Made By 3D Printing
PHOTOS: These 3D Printed Accessories Are Blowing Our Minds


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