A Geek's Guide To Fashion Week

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen uses 3-D printing to make out-of-this-world fashion.

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has been known to use technology to push the fashion world into the future--a crazy future full of 3-D printed designs that look more like architecture than clothing.

Her latest collection brings 3-D printing to Paris Fashion Week. For VOLTAGE, van Herpen collaborated with 3-D printing manufacturers, an architect and a professor from MIT's Media Lab. Her multi-material skirt-and-cape combo and a lacy dress made using laser sintering launch high fashion into a whole new dimension.

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Laser Lace

For her latest line, VOLTAGE, Iris van Herpen collaborated with Austrian architect Julia Koerner and Belgian printer Materialise to design a 3-D printed dress with a lace texture created by precision lasers.PR Newswire

Back In Black

The fashion world could use this kind of laser sintering to rethink where seams and cuts typically fall, according to Koerner, who also worked with van Herpen to make a 3-D printed dress last season.PR Newswire

High Voltage

Van Herpen met MIT Media Lab's Neri Oxman, the architect and designer who collaborated with her on this skirt and cape combo, after Oxman debuted a collection of 3-D printed designs at the Centre Pompidou in Paris last year. Together, they wanted to create a "second skin," one whose movement they could design as well. "It inspired us to design algorithms that could map physical movement and material behavior to geometrical form and morphological variation in a seamless and continuous wearable surface," Oxman says.Stratasys

Back To The Runway

"The incredible possibilities afforded by these new technologies allowed us to reinterpret the tradition of couture as 'tech-couture' where delicate hand-made embroidery and needlework is replaced by code," Oxman explains.Stratasys

Close Dimensions

The piece incorporates both hard and soft materials using multi-material technology from 3-D printing manufacturer Stratasys.Stratasys

Mythological Material

Oxman and van Herpen took inspiration from Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges' Book of Imaginary Beings. Their goal was to create "myths that one could wear."Stratasys