What is it about?

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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Why is it important?

One of the first articles to apply posthuman theory to contemporary fashion.


An illumating perspective on the fascinating fashion of Iris van Herpen.

Professor Anneke Smelik

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Fractal Folds: The Posthuman Fashion of Iris van Herpen, Fashion Theory, December 2020, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/1362704x.2020.1850035.
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