Iris van Herpen’s New Creation Combines Craftsmanship and Technology



Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen is known worldwide as a talented and forward-thinking creator. Van Herpen is often praised as one of the first to use 3D printing for garment construction, and she’s innovative in her use of technology as a guiding principle for her work. Van Herpen’s latest Couture collection is composed of one dress that combines her mastery in craftsmanship and technology. 



The “Transmotion” dress is the highlight of Iris van Herpen’s latest Couture collection that was inspired by the ideas of growth and regeneration. The dress itself is made of pleated white silk organza. The black “branches” on the dress were laser-cut, hand-stitched, and form the central roots of the garment. 


“Beneath the surface, the branching also reveals the synonymity of mycorrhizal networks (the Wood Wide Web) and the symbiotic nature within human communities. Like fronds frozen in time, crystalline filaments sprout from the heart of the dress. Portraying delicate new life, black seed-like crystals punctuate the tip of each stamen like strand.”  - Iris van Herpen.


The release of the dress was accompanied by an eponymous short film “Transmotion” that features Carice van Houten. The dress and film are meant to depict the process of change from one state to another. The dress iself changes form throughout the video, first being displayed as one thing and then changing later into a modified version of itself, with a long train of white silk that forms into a spiral. According to van Herpen’s comments on her website, the dress and change it undergoes are meant to act like a germinating seed. 


“The dress follows symmetry in both its axis and without context, indiscernible which way is up or down. Motion and fluidity involved in the formation of tessellations highlight the capacity to shift between negatives and positives. Amidst an era when polarising ideologies are heightened, the work reflects upon the nature of perception.” - Iris van Herpen.


This metaphor of growth and regeneration seems especially relevant given what’s happening around the world. With so much uncertainty, Iris van Herpen seems to be offering a gentle reminder that good things take time to germinate and grow. Even the contrasting black and white of the dress suggest that the good and bad often go hand-in-hand. The dress is a perfect blend of technology and traditional Couture craftsmanship. There’s no doubt that looking forward, van Herpen will continue to meticulously craft Couture creations and push the boundaries of design and fashion. 

+ Words:  Jessy Humann, Luxiders Magazine 

Jessy Humann lives and writes out of Spokane, Washington. When she's not writing about sustainable fashion and why it's important, she loves to write poetry and do other types of creative writing. Her first children's book comes out next year. Connect with Jessy on LinkedIn.