Iris van Herpen Biopiracy and 3D Printed Flexible Dress. Source: Iris van Herpen
Iris van Herpen Biopiracy and 3D Printed Flexible Dress. Source: Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen, a Dutch fashion designer, has created a fashion collection called Biopiracy that includes a 3D printed dress. The Biopiracy collection was presented at Les Docks - Cité de la Mode et du Design in Paris.

Van Herpen talks about her collection, stating, “It's called biopiracy - the piracy of body, owning something you don't own.” Van Herpen collaborated with the artist Lawrence Malstaf who specializes “in the interaction between biology and physicality.” Malstaf created an installation for van Herpen where models were suspended in clear plastic and shrink-wrapped as a backdrop for the catwalk.

The 3D printed dress was the finale of 25 ready-to-wear and Haute Couture designs. This was the 11th dress that van Herpen has 3D printed. Van Herpen has been working with Materialise and Austrian architect Julia Koerner. This is van Herpen and Koerner’s third collaboration together.

The Biopiracy’s 3D printed dress was created using Materialise’s new material, TPU 92A-1. This new material is a rubber-like flexible material, providing the needed movement for the design. The dress was 3D printed using Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) which fuses powders together through the use of a laser. Iris’s team then coated the dress in silicon to give the dress a glossy sheen. The dress is surprisingly fluid and flowing, proving that 3D printing can be used in even fashion and clothing.

Van Herpen’s previous 3D printed designs include a skirt and cape ensemble that she designed with professor and designer from MIT’s Media Lab, Neri Oxman and 3D printed shoes designed with Rem D Koolhaas using the concept of tree roots.