[By Anastasia Nevarez-Pyrkova]
Having exhausted natural resources and conventional techniques, artists can turn to modern technology and current scientific research to revitalise their craft. Pioneer in fashion, Iris Van Herpen, does just that when creating her mesmerising garments. Drawing inspiration from kinetic sculptures, DNA engineering, soundwave patterns of birds in flight and synthetic biology, Van Herpen employs 3D printing, glass blowing, laser cutting, magnets (with which she grows materials), different forms of biomimicry, as well as traditional couture craftsmanship, to realise her fragile, fluid, ethereal and intricate designs. The Dutch innovator has collaborated with dancers, filmmakers, architects and various technological institutions, and has dressed other mould-breakers such as Björk and Grimes. For me, she represents the ability to discover and invent new worlds by making the most of, and being creative with, state-of-the-art resources rather than trying to imitate past artists and reusing old ‘moulds’.