Wilderness Embodied
by Iris van Herpen

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Spiny translucent 3D-printed collars were paired with magnetic dresses and shoes that looks like tree roots in Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen's latest haute couture collection.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen's Wilderness Embodied collection included dresses and jewellery that combine 3D-printing technology and natural forms.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

"My Wilderness collection explores the wilderness that we as human have inside us as well as the wilderness in nature," she told Dezeen.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Pieces that wrapped around the length of the neck and extended down the chest were decorated with pointy globules tinted purple, blue and pink colours.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

These elements were repeated in symmetrical patterns on the see-through layers worn over neutral dresses.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

The collars and spiky elements on the dresses were designed in collaboration with architect Isaie Bloch and 3D-printed with additive manufacturing company Materialise.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

This season Van Herpen also worked with designer Jólan van der Wiel to create a pair of dresses grown using magnets - find out more about them in our previous story.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

"Natural forces like magnetism that are essential to life inspired me to not only use manmade techniques like 3D printing, but to combine technology with the creativity and power of nature itself," Van Herpen said.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Shown in Paris last month, the Autumn Winter 2013 collection also featured 3D-printed shoes that look like a tangle of roots designed with United Nude founder Rem D Koolhaas and printed by Stratasys.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

We've featured a few of Van Herpen's previous collections that include 3D printing and interviewed the fashion designer for our one-off magazine Print Shift, during which she talked about how these technologies could transform the fashion industry.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Recently we posted a collection of 3D-printed jewellery by Dorry Hsu, inspired by her fear of insects.

See more design by Iris van Herpen »
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Read on for more information sent to us by van Herpen:


Nature is wild. Generated by powerful forces. It proliferates by creating startling beauty.

For her fifth collection as an invited member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, Iris van Herpen focuses on the forces of nature, with a back and forth between innovation and craftsmanship. Beyond simple visual inspiration, this wonder of the natural world forms the basis of wild experimentation.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

With the help of artists, scientists and architects, Iris van Herpen explores the intricacies of these forces trough the medium of fashion, and the sensitive poetics that have long characterised her aesthetic vocabulary.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Through her collaboration with artist Jolan van der Wiel, who has spent several years pondering the possibilities of magnetism, they have created dresses whose very forms are generated by the phenomenon of attraction and repulsion.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen draws equally upon the life force that pulses through the sculptures of David Altmejd. His wild organic forms derived from the regenerative processes of nature have greatly inspired Wilderness Embodied.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

She proposes to reach this wild nature freedom into the human body and soul. The human spirit is forged of this same vital energy, coursing and erupting through the limits of the body in such resplendent displays of extreme tradition or technology as piercings, scarification or surgery.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

This wild(er)ness of the human body, as unchecked as it is intimate, is one that the designer has sought to reveal the collection.Balancing respect for the traditions of atelier craftsmanship, with each garment subject to individual handwork, Iris van Herpen has nonetheless broadened the horizons of her domain: materials and processes.

Wilderness Embodied by Iris van Herpen

With architect Isaie Bloch and Materialise she continues to develop the innovative 3D-printed dresses, which she was the first to present in both static and flexible forms. On the one hand, her long-term collaboration with Canadian architect Philip Beesley and, on the other had, her partnership with United Nude's Rem D. Koolhaas and Stratasys which has led to a line of shoes, help to spread the spirit of the collection.

  • iron ying

    All I can say is “where is this 3D printing stream going?”, and “wow!” and “how?” to the last picture.

  • c.pierre

    “[...] The show, however, was somewhat inconsistent. There was a feeling that Van Herpen is having trouble moving forward creatively from her organic themes.

    Although finely executed, two exoskeletal sheath dresses felt a little like a rehash of styles that appeared in previous seasons” – Thomas Adamson/United Press brought it to the point.

    Van Herpen is the most overrated fashion designer in the moment.

    • R23

      Iris van Herpen is a Haute Couture fashion designer who’s never afraid to experiment. She’s also pretty much the only person who worked herself up to a highly established position in the world of fashion who dares to continue experimentation.

      With this approach comes the risk of not always pleasing everybody which can lead to criticism. I truly hope that she continues her own ways and will not be distracted by her lame critics with their limited amount imagination.