Iris van Herpen uses robots to print a dress for SS16

Iris van Herpen uses robots to print and weave a dress over Game of Thrones actress

Robotic arms combined 3D printing, laser cutting and weaving to create a circular dress live during Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen's Spring Summer 2016 show.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

Van Herpen – a pioneer of 3D-printed couture – presented her Quaquaversal ready-to-wear collection for Spring Summer 2016 during Paris Fashion Week, earlier this week.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

During the show, actress Gwendoline Christie – best known for her role in TV drama Game of Thrones – lay on a circular plinth that was surrounded by three robotic arms.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

The robots were covered in a spiky material that was "grown" using magnets by designer Jólan van der Wiel, who has previously collaborated with Van Herpen to create dresses and shoes using the same method.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

As Christie lay still, the programmed arms worked to form a garment around her by combining various production techniques – "interlacing an architectural mesh which rays out around her".

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

"The live process blends different techniques – laser cutting, hand weaving and 3D printing into one dress, which spreads from the centre, quaquaversal in its geometries," said a statement from van Herpen.

The shape of the dress, which eventually splayed outward in all directions, gave its name to the collection's title.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

Van Herpen showed another circular dress made from metal gauze as part of her Autumn Winter 2015 range, while her previous collections have included a variety of 3D-printed garments, as well as models suspended in vacuums between plastic sheeting.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

The designer said that her influence for this latest collection came from the tree bridges of India – made from banyan tree roots that were shaped and coerced by man to span across rivers and gorges.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

"The beautiful potential of plants and other organisms to form living architecture inspired me to make a collection that is tangled like a maze around the body," said Van Herpen.

"Inspiration came from the way plants and their roots grow, and how roots have been used to grow living bridges in the forests of India."

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

"This tradition of growing bridges inspired me to re-envision my process of making a garment," she added.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

Roots also influenced the shapes of 3D-printed shoes that van Herpen previously designed in collaboration with United Nude founder Rem D Koolhaas.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

Different types of lace were used to create other garments in the collection, including a fine organic material from Calais, a graphic maze-like design, and leather embedded with ceramic stones from crystal brand Swarovski.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

The colour scheme was limited to white, nude, grey, silver and black tones.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

This extended to the shoes, named Airborne and developed in collaboration with Finsk. They featured a thin platform to create the illusion of the wearer being suspended above ground.

SS16 Womenswear Haute Couture by Iris Van Herpen

Also during this season's Paris Fashion Week, Hussein Chalayan used a catwalk shower to dissolve a pair of soluble outfits and Akris based its collection on architect Sou Fujimoto.