Iris van Herpen: Between the Lines

The production of Haute Couture clothe requires diligence, patience, and time. In case of Iris van Herpen it is also about curiosity.  We sometimes should break the rules to get something new, whether we are breaking the limits of material use, forms, or colors.

On January 23, Iris van Herpen presented her 2017 Couture collection, which slightly differed from the other ones. It not only differs by the looks but also by the technology Iris van Herpen uses to implement her idea into reality. The use of technology is one of the rising moves that are being tested in the fashion industry.

The encounter of traditional creation methods with those of technologies of future resulted in 16 looks presented during the show. From far they look like actual tattoos, and it is not surprising since the patterns were “computer-designed but molded and painted by hand with a blend of polyurethane and pigment.”(WWD)

“The shapes are constructed, but it’s the body that changes the shapes and warps the angles when you walk in it,” explains Iris van Herpen. (WWD)

The first thing that comes into my mind while hearing the word technology is a massive iron construction that has nothing to do with fragility. However, it is very difficult and at the same time uncommon to see the result that this iron construction can create.


Besides the whole collection, we have a collaboration going on on the runway. Thanks to Esther Stocker the runway looked the way it looked. The background smoothly complemented the whole geometrical atmosphere of the dresses, thus, made the collaboration seem beautiful. Besides this project, Esther Stocker has a long list of other installation that were showcased in various museums. Here are some of them:

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In addition to the laser cutting technique we have 3D-printing approach toward creating a piece that Iris van Herpen had already done in her previous collections. During Paris Fashion Week Spring 2013 Iris van Herpen presented a mesmerizing piece Anthozoa made for her show Voltage in collaboration with an architect and designer Neri Oxman.

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“The ability to vary softness and elasticity inspired us to design a ‘second skin’ for the body acting as armour-in-motion,” said Neri Oxman. “In this way we were able to design not only the garment’s form but also its motion.” (Dezeen, Volatge by Iris van Herpen with Neri Oxman and Julia Koerner)

Fashion moves at a pace of a radioactive racket that sometimes even we cannot follow it. I believe that by implementing such innovations into the sphere of fashion will promise to create a revolutionary trend that can change the route of fashion industry. However, such collections are not news anymore, the collaboration between the traditional methods of clothe making and the innovative ones are slowly trying to fit on the runway, and more slowly are going out on the streets. In any way, moving away from the traditional techniques is always hard.

Who knows maybe her approach of creating a second-skin dress will be an alternative for temporary tattoo technique.





  1. Friedman, V. Distorting reality at Iris Van Herpen and Schiaparelli at couture fashion week. Fashion & Style. Retrieved from
  2. Diderich, J. Iris van Herpen Couture Spring 2017. Retrieved from
  3. Between The Lines: la nuova collezione di Iris van Herpen tra artigianato e innovazione | Medaarch. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Voltage 3D printed clothes by Iris van Herpen with Neri Oxman and Julia Koerner. Retrieved from



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