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"wearable sculpture" Tag

I don’t have the skill to create a 3D dress like van Herpen’s Pythagoras tree, but since I have 123Dapp I might have the skill to duplicate it”

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Iris van Herpen’s dress the ‘Pythagoras tree’ was one of the first things I saw when I entered the Handmade exhibition at the Boijmans. The question: why is this in a handmade exhibition? Came to mind first. Right after my fascination for 3D printing was back again. Followed by a long stare at the dress, how did she do this? Of course some jealousy comes along too, with a dress like this, wishing I would have the skill yet to create it.

Van Herpen’s work, often described as “wearable sculpture”, fuses fashion with art.’’ My goodness how many times did I read this sentence when searching the web for more information about Iris van Herpen. Fuses fashion with art? So fashion isn’t art and sculpture is? The reason for me to place it within Design and not Art its because it is functional. Of course there are many opinions about, if van Herpen’s work is made to function as a Garment or not. But you can not deny that if you wanted to you can wear everything she creates. The “Pythagoras Tree” dress was made in collaboration with architect Julia Koerner. She studied architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria. A lot of her designs are produced from organic structures and compounds. She has worked on a 3Dprinted dress with van Herpen before. For this dress a Technique was used, known as ‘Mammoth Stereo lithography’. It is a 3D printing process in which the garment is built slice by slice from bottom to top, in a vessel of polymer that hardens when struck by a laser beam.
The collection Hybrid Holism by van Herpen is inspired by a work of the architect Philip Beesley , named Hylozoic Soil (2007). His work is about architecture not just being a space for people to exist in, but the architecture itself becoming a living being. When seeing Beesley’s work in general I can make a clear connection between the two. It feels like van Herpen want’s to recreate the aesthetics  of the architecture into something wearable.

Philip Beesley- Hylozoic grounds


Iris van Herpen- Hybrid Holism

When we think of something being handmade, we mostly think of the past and the interaction between human and raw material. Nowadays the amount of handwork that is being made is becoming less and less .Also many different technique’s are being realized. Therefor you start questioning which technique’s are considered within the category Handmade. Van Herpen’s dresses are hard to define. They are definitely design because it is not only functional but they are clearly based on a concept as well. But she is not designing only, when trying to get the dress to function properly she is engaging herself in engineering. And many of the programs she work’s with to realize her garments are programs used more often by engineers then they are used by designers.

My fascination for 3D printing started a few years ago when I first heard about it. I knew it definitely was going to change everything from the moment it would be accessible for everyone. It would change our consumer society, and our view on authenticity. It may not have this impact quite yet, but it is coming soon. The way the development has quickly progressed is mind blowing. Lately a 3Dprinted gun has been making head lines in the USA and the The Netherlands too. A man from the USA managed to create a working gun and posted a YouTube video of it online. After this had been on the news everywhere, the HVA ( a university of Amsterdam) tried to reprint it, the did not manage to print it, because they were stopped. But it had made headlines in the Netherlands.


Gun use, printed


It always takes something shocking for people to realize how a certain technology has developed right under their noses. Another recent headline, was body parts being printed. A small boy Kaiba Gionfriddo, had a life threatening condition cured by having an artificial windpipe and an airway splint printed and inserted in his body. It is the first medical achievement concerning 3D printing. If they are able to print body parts already, I can’t imagine what they will be able to print in a few years. I might not ever have to give birth to child, I could just print one on my 3D printer.


Van Herpen makes use of both 3dprinting and handwork in one garment. This blurrs the line between hand or machine made. Why is it we value handmade things so much? Is it because of the society we live in, in which everything is mass produced? I think mass producing and machines are two words that obviously go together. Many handmade items are mass produced as well and are valued equally to the machine made products. So it’s all about authenticity. We human’s tend to like it when we own something no one else has. It makes us feel more important. This feeling is linked to the handmade products we value so highly from before the mass producing era. Van Herpen’s dress might not be handmade, but it is the only existing one so we value it the same as we value the handmade products at the exhibition. This made me think: I can change the value we give van Herpen’s dress, all i have to do is create a second one. Since the dress is 3D printed it should be possible to have an exact replica made. After a long but pointless search on the internet for the blueprint of the ‘Pythagoras tree’ dress, I came along an app called autodesk123D . The app is created to make 3D printing of existing objects easier, all you have to do is take 20-40 pictures of an object from different angles and it will create the 3D blueprint for you. Since I found out about this app too late it wasn’t possible for me to visit the Boymans again to take the pictures, and try out if it is possible to create an exact replica online. I guess i don’t have the skill to create a 3Ddress like van Herpen’s Pythagoras tree, but since I have 123Dapp I might have the skill to duplicate it.

If you are interested in 3D printing, and living in Amsterdam visit:

Dress-index #17

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My research.


The picture below i made it blurry.


Then i translated the overall colors in the pictures and put it in beams.

Recently i did a research which has shown that there are underlying tunes in colors that can be observed when i make the figures in the first picture blurry, followed by the CMYK beams. The CMYK beams have a combination with numbers to get a certain color. With this research i have a rich foundation which exists out of color, weight, patterns and even sounds, to make a dress. the dress design so far, are not interfere with normal daily functioning clothes. – There are several dresses out of the research. As soon as i started draping something else was happening. The act in clarity after the research faded, unfortunately. Afterwards, i decided to focus more on the color according to my research to comprehend the color beams/tunes.


In the picture below, you can see the shadows that are exposed on a particular time of the day.


Since there are dark colors on the photos at the beginning of my research, i linked that with shadows. To narrow down my research and to focus on something that would give my designs more padding, something that is still coming back in my research photos,  but was first very downplayed. I noticed an area where direct light from a light source cannot reach due to an obstruction by a ledge, which i created by folding the fabric, repetitive. Normally the sun causes shadows, also on certain times of the day and at certain heights, the length of the shadow change. But since i decided to treat my dress more as an sculpture and thereby also used ”Gesso” (which is a medium that you use on fabric before your going to paint a painting) to make my dress stiff. My dress became very static and the shadows that i painted on my dress are not changing at all, which i sort of created an illusion with shadow on the dress. From a certain angle you can see the ”shadow” and otherwise the dress looks white.


Here i took the picture aiming from top on the dress.

^ In this picture i was aiming from down on the dress.


My final dress.

On my second dress which was my final one, i focused a lot on, how i treat my dress, that i was  already questioning myself in the first try out dress. Should i treat it more as a sculpture or as a design that is wearable. There are elements that i used in my approach for the dress like : canvas,  wood to clamp the tube (skirt), gesso and paint. those are the characteristics for the upset of an painting. The difference in my first dress, and my second becomes more clear. I decided to present the dress not on a mannequin, but on a metal pedestal, and even put the dress in front of a painting, that the dress is connected with the painting and it becomes one with the painting. The gap between the first dress that was more design, and the second one started to get more clear. The idea during the show, of painting on my sculptural dress was to make clear that it finally became my sculptural painting.


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