Dresses Grown Magnetically

Love, love , love these dresses which were created in a collaboration between Dutch designers Iris van Herpen and Jólan van der Wiel! What’s so special about these dresses (and why I love them) is because they were “grown” by magnets.

A model wearing one of the magnetic dresses along with a pair of 3D printed shoes. Image from (http://www.irisvanherpen.com/haute-couture#wilderness-embodied-haute-couture)

A model wearing one of the magnetic dresses along with a pair of 3D printed shoes. Image from http://www.irisvanherpen.com

The dresses are part of Iris van Herpen’s Wilderness Embodied Haute Couture collection and were shown as part of the Autumn Winter 2013 fashion show in Paris earlier this month.

“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. 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 characterized her aesthetic vocabulary.Trough 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.”

Close up of magnetic dress and the protrusions created by the magnetic force.

Close up of magnetic dress and the protrusions created by the magnetic force.

“To do this they manipulated a material made from iron fillings mixed into resin.
This composite material was added to fabric in small sections then pulled by magnets, creating a spiky texture and unique patterns.” You can read more here.

You may be surprised to learn that iron fillings suspended in a carrier fluid are used in car brakes, bridges and other bits of engineering (great little connection between fashion and engineering)! A few years ago I worked on a show about smart materials and magnetorheological fluids featured in it –  Jolan van der Wiel’s material sounds very much like this smart material. You can see the show here.

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