Fractal Folds. The Posthuman Fashion of Iris van Herpen
Number of pages
SourceFashion Theory. The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, (2020)
08 december 2020
Article / Letter to editor
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Literatuurwetenschap en Cultuurwetenschap
Fashion Theory. The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture
SubjectCOMPAS: Creativity, Object, Materiality, and Practice of Art in Society; Critical Humanities; Europe in a Changing World
3D printing technologies are among the new developments in fashion design. The Dutch designer Iris van Herpen is one of the forerunners of 3 D printing in fashion design. She is particularly known for her 3 D printed designs of “fractal folds”: designs of inimitable curves, bends, and loops. Morphing art, fashion and technology, she developed productive collaborations with scientists and artists. Through a mixed method, this article provides background information and gives insight into the design practice of the fashion house of Iris van Herpen in Amsterdam. Iris van Herpen combines highly technical specifications with a commitment to esthetic design. In her designs, she intertwines the digital and the material and the human and the non-human. Such intertwinements are characteristic of posthumanism that postulates a dynamic notion of life in which human bodies are inextricably entangled with the non-human—like fibers, silicones, garments, and technologies. The article interprets Van Herpen’s work within the context of posthuman theory, so as to make sense of its avant-garde esthetic. Out of innovative technologies, new materials, and assiduous craftsmanship, Van Herpen creates a visual and material language of fractal folds that expresses the affective mood of a posthuman world.
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