Autumn/ Winter Paris Fashion Week hit the French capital over the last seven days and, as you would expect, it had its fair share of style, weirdness, pretension and controversy.
Karl Lagerfeld had his models strut their stuff down supermarket aisles, Stella McCartney dressed up Cara Delevingne in a massive rug, Jean Paul Gaultier sent a trio of over-50s punks to show off his latest spiky wears and Rihanna turned up everywhere.
Stealing the headlines, however, was Iris Van Herpen, the Dutch enfant terrible of far-out fashion. Unveiling her most ambitious and riskiest collection yet at Les Dock – Cite de la Mode et du Design Paris, she decorated her runway with live models, shrink wrapped in plastic and suspended from the ceiling.
Van Herpen’s collaborator Lawrence Malstaf, an artist who specialises in how biology and physicality interact, was behind the stunning installation, which has been compared to the beings from the Aliens film series, foetuses floating in the womb casino and frozen butcher shop meat.
The biggest thrill for the geeks here at Top 4 3D Printing, however, came at the climax of the show when Van Herpen exhibited her latest 3D printed creation. A collaboration between the designer, Materialise and Austrian architect Julia Koerner, the dress was made using laser sintering and the flexible, rubber-like TPU 92A-1 material, uniquely developed by Materialise. The final piece was then coated with silicon to give it a flexible, glowing finish.
It’s now the eleventh time Van Herpen has used additive manufacturing to tailor one of her pieces and the third time she has done so in collaboration with Koerner. The duo also teamed up for the ‘liquid honey’ style dress that featured as a highlight of the designer’s Hybrid Holism and a dress from last year’s Voltage Collection.
Daring, challenging and obsessively forward thinking, it’s no wonder Van Herpen is Lady Gaga’s favourite designer.