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Inspired by science, Iris van Herpen’s sculptural styles push fashion and technology forward

Is fashion art? That debate finally might be coming to a rest with New York’s Museum of Modern Art just opening its first clothing design show in more than 70 years. Now the Cincinnati Art Museum turns the question around and introduces a fresh discussion.

Iris van Herpen’s cutting-edge designs, some created with the aid of 3D printing, certainly are art. Are they fashion?

Cincinnati Art Museum Chief Curator Cynthia Amneus, who also is the museum’s curator of fashion arts and textiles, is responsible for bringing Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion to town. The touring exhibit, which originated in van Herpen’s homeland of the Netherlands in 2012, features 44 visionary outfits and nine pairs of fierce-looking shoes.

Amneus, who has proven the local popularity of clothing exhibitions with the bridal gown survey Wedded Perfection and the Rudi Gernreich showcase The Total Look, knows some visitors will shake their heads over the lack of wearable looks in this latest display. Clouds of “refinery smoke” billow from a dress and nearly engulf one mannequin. A barely-there skeleton clings to another form. Coils of dark acrylic encircle another torso like snakes. But even the wildest styles highlight van Herpen’s experimentation and likely influence on future fashion.

“I think of her as an artist who happens to make things that are on the body,” Amneus says. “We are an art museum, showing the most innovative and avant-garde examples of her work.”

In 2010, van Herpen became the first designer to send a 3D-printed garment down a runway, and the rippling top, intended to represent the limestone scales left when water evaporates, is included in the show. The 33-year-old draws her inspiration from nature and natural phenomena and turns to technology, nontraditional materials, architects and other collaborators as needed to make her ideas reality.

She has created many beautiful pieces — the visual energy of her black and white Voltage collection could make your hair stand on end — but van Herpen is more interested in figuring things out than making clothes pretty, Amneus says. In fact, Transforming Fashionhas much in common with the museum’s current Ana England: Kinship exhibit and that artist’s investigations of molecules, fossils and waves. Transforming Fashion is one part couture show, one part science fair. There’s even a station where visitors can touch some of the tantalizing 3D-printed materials, plastics and hand-burnished, hand-pleated steel mesh that van Herpen has used in her creations.

The names of van Herpen’s collections — for instance, Mummification, Crystallization, and Radiation Invasion — convey whatever science or phenomenon influenced her. She captured the emotions she felt while skydiving in a collection titled Capriole, a word meaning “leap.” Magnetic Motion was inspired by a visit to CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) and the Large Hadron Collider. Her desire to represent the push and pull of those magnetic forces in a clear dress led to 3D printing of a transparent plastic — something she initially was told couldn’t be done.

One of her earliest collections, Chemical Crows, is based on a flock of birds near her Amsterdam studio. She made those dresses all by hand but was no less inventive, using the spines from children’s umbrellas to form collars that suggest patterns of flight.

“The way that she works is like an artist,” Amneus says. “She has an idea, a concept. ‘OK, how do I make this happen?’ ”

Van Herpen is not driven by technology, Amneus says. It’s merely a tool for her art. “She will play around with 30 or 40 different materials, 30 or 40 different techniques, and sometimes she will choose the handmade version over the technology, even though the technology might be faster, because the handmade technique brings to fruition what’s in her head.”

Visitors can play a guessing game over which pieces were 3D-printed. The big clear collar that mimics a cool splash? It’s handmade. In a video in the exhibit, art collector/designer/brewery heiress Daphne Guinness is repeatedly doused with black and clear water, and van Herpen chooses which still frame she wants to work with. We then see her using a heat gun, scissors and pliers on a sheet of PET plastic — the same material used in soda bottles — to recreate every drip. She is asked in the video how much she is willing to compromise. “I don’t like to compromise,” she responds.

But she does like to experiment. At one point, van Herpen talks about her appreciation of technology like 3D printing, as well as her fascination with nature and natural materials. “We are still wearing wools and silks,” she says, “but I really wonder if that is something we will still do in the future. It does trigger my imagination. What else can we wear?”

Van Herpen is marking 10 years since she launched her brand after internships with Alexander McQueen and the Dutch fiber artist Claudy Jongstra. “She was making fashion (in those internships) but wanted to build, to construct,” Amneus says. “She wanted to make things, not just sew. It was clear which way she was going.”

And van Herpen’s work is indicative of which way fashion is going, Amneus believes. Eventually, 3D printing and other technology will trickle down from haute couture to ready-to-wear clothes, she says.

She points to the prevalence of Fitbits and smartphones. “Who thought we’d be wearing technology? Who thought we’d have the internet in our pocket?” Amneus asks. Van Herpen, she says, is now looking at 4D printing of “smart cloth” that will warm up if it senses the wearer is cold.

“It’s coming. We will be wearing this stuff,” Amneus says. “I have no doubt about that.”Read more at:evening dresses | formal dresses

11:29 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Hell on heels but the show must go on at NMBFW

Beautiful heels can be hell to walk in as a Nelson Mandela Bay Fashion Week model found on opening night when she stumbled and fell more than once on the ramp at Tramways.

But the show must go on so plus-size model Ivana Leigh Japtha marched on in her Kitibella stilettoes to finish her walk for fashion designer Lisokazi M. With the crowd cheering her from then on, Japtha later returned with a more solid shoe.

“I was overwhelmed with the crowd’s reaction and that definitely helped me carry on with my walk,” she said after toppling off her nude heels more at least twice during her walk.

“Things happen and it just depends how you deal with them so it’s pointless for me to let it affect me negatively.

“At first I was scared to go back to the runway even in my own comfortable shoe but my fellow models motivated me and told me not to let it affect me,” she said.

The full-figured model made her first ramp appearance earlier this year at Bay Fashion Sundays in the run-up to NMBFW this week and said becoming a model was a personal journey.

“If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever be a model I would have laughed and said ‘hell no’ simply because I didn’t have the confidence and self-belief,” Japtha said.

Fashion designer Lisokazi Manzini said the models were told they could wear their own shoes but Japtha was asked to wear the Kitibella shoe as it was one of the sponsors of the show.Read more at:formal dresses perth | plus size formal dresses

08:11 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


When doodles become your own fashion designs

At 20 years old, Daniel Vigny-Pau, a second-year computer science student at Concordia, launched his own clothing line in September. It’s called Heure de Sieste, and it all started because Vigny-Pau was bored in a CEGEP physics class.

He started doodling in a notebook “trying to see how [to] distort people’s bodies or add random body parts to different places,” he said. That same notebook became Vigny-Pau’s sketchbook by the end of the year. He would stay up until 2 a.m. drawing if he was feeling down or in a bad mood.

Last year, Vigny-Pau looked into launching his own line of T-shirts with his designs. Yet he thought it was “too complicated and expensive” so he didn’t pursue it further. He continued drawing, though, and turned his personal Instagram into a fashion-focused account. That’s when his follower count went from 300 to over 1,000.

Streetwear clothing really encompasses Vigny-Pau’s personal style, especially brands like Comme des Garçons and Undercover. Even his biography on Instagram reads “I like clothes.”

Last spring, Vigny-Pau was motivated by friends and family to bring his designs to life. A friend asked him at a house party: “When are you going to do something in fashion?” Yet, it wasn’t until he teamed up with his current business partner, who wanted to remain anonymous, that Vigny-Pau’s idea started becoming reality.

His partner, who is in his first year of business school, has connections with manufacturers in Asia and takes care of the behind-the-scenes aspect of the business. For his part, Vigny-Pau takes care of the website and the brand’s social media platforms. Coincidentally, a week before he created the website, Vigny-Pau learned how to use HTML in a web programming class at Concordia, which helped him design the website he wanted.

“A lot of people nowadays have their own brands, but I wanted to do something different,” he said. “I’d like to think that these drawings are unique and not something people have seen before.” He described the T-shirts as minimalist, since the graphics are in black or white, yet bold due to the compelling design on them.

Vigny-Pau said someone once told him his designs look demonic. While he understands this description, what he sees are illustrations that are simply distorted and twisted. “I like to start with a face because they are so interesting, there is so much you can do with it,” he explained. The smaller features of the face are what he distorts—like drawing another face where an ear should be. He designs each illustration in one sitting in pencil. If he messes up, he said he finds a way to make it work because it’s not meant to look real. He never uses an eraser. “I let it come to me when I draw it,” Vigny-Pau said about his artistic process.

When Vigny-Pau was coming up with a name for the brand, he felt a French name would be best since it’s a Montreal brand. As he was scrolling through proverbs and French expressions, Heure de Sieste stood out to him. Vigny-Pau said he felt it was relevant, as most his drawings come from late-night sketching sessions right before bed. Sleep is also associated with nightmares, which is one of the vibes he goes for when designing the shirts. The logo is simple because his focus is less on the brand’s name and more on the graphics themselves.

Even though he’s a computer science student, Vigny-Pau always had an artistic side growing up. “I play piano, I did a lot of arts in high school,” he said. So creating and having this clothing line is a fun way to keep his artistic side active while in university. One of his drawings is even featured on the album cover of Out Here, a mixtape by his friend, Paul Ha.

The T-shirts for sale right now are available in a limited quantity, which Vigny-Pau said is a way to keep the clothing unique. He also intends to introduce more apparel to keep the line alive.

Heure de Sieste has a lot of plans for the future. Vigny-Pau said he hopes to release hoodies or perhaps even coach jackets with a print on the back. In the meantime, he has learned that it takes a lot of effort and time to turn a drawing into the custom-made T-shirts he sells to customers. Even once he has the first sample of the T-shirt ready, Vigny-Pau explained that the process isn’t over—there’s usually some tweaking before finalizing it, which he said takes patience.

Heure de Sieste’s winter collection will be released in December and will feature jumpers. “I want to finish my degree,” Vigny-Pau said. “ I like programming, but [the clothing line] is a fun thing to have on the side. I really want to see where it goes.”Read more at:long formal dresses | cheap formal dresses