Iris van Herpen, a Dutch fashion designer walks through her Amsterdam-based studio to expose a piece of attire that looks and also sounds, almost enchanted.
However, not only is made from the pelt of a mythical creature, the dress is fabricated in the exact same way that many special effects disguises in Hollywood movies are. Dragon Skin is a sequence of high-performance silicones.
“It’s really like second skin,” she says.
Dragon Skin is only one of the methods van Herpen uses technology to construct otherworldly fashion collections. In 2010 she was one of the earliest fashion designers to make a 3D-printed dress. Since then, she has tried using laser cutting, ultrasonic welding and magnetized fibers. She has even visited CERN to get inspired.
Moreover, to the possibly obvious admirers like Bjork and Lady Gaga, her designs have been also seen on the likes of Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson and Beyoncé.
Technology and style are now regularly connected, with a whole spectrum of modernizations in wearable tech on offer, from the everyday things (the Apple watch) to the fantastical (Lady Gaga’s flying dress from 2013). van Herpen, nevertheless, is one of few fashion designers combining technology and couture.
She also adds, “Some ateliers really go for the craft and some ateliers go for the technology, but I notice when we bring them together a lot more possibilities start to grow”.