The New York Times
That high-tech piece, printed layer by layer from polyamide, is one of many being presented as wearable sculpture in “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion“, through May 15 at the High Museum in Atlanta.
The show, the museum’s first foray into displaying fashion, is also the first solo museum exhibition in the US devoted to van Herpen.
She is at the forefront of a wave of designers integrating new tech nology -like 3D printing, laser cutting and digital knitting and weaving -into traditional hand processes to achieve radical shapes, new materials and clothes that respond to the body itself.
Museums are clearly paying attention to the impact of technology on fashion, with “#techstyle“ on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, through July 10, and “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology“ opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 5. The design curator Ron Labaco has witnessed a wider institutional acceptance of this trend just since he included a few digitally produced works of fashion in his 2013 exhibition “Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital“ at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
When Labaco was organising that show, he said he was told by a director of a European fashion museum, “there isn’t enough significant movement in the direction of digital fabrication in fashion to even warrant a chapter in the catalog.“
Labaco said: “Now we’re moving away from the idea that this is a novelty that is just a flash in the pan, to artists who are really dedicating their lives to exploring what is pos sible.“ The High has three van Herpen garments in its permanent collection, according to Sarah Schleuning, the show’s curator, who said: “Certainly the biggest consumer of her pieces is museums.“ The Metropolitan owns five, and the acquisition by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, of her barnacle-like ensemble, 3D printed in collabora tion with Neri Oxman (who specializes in biomimicry), was the departure point for “#techstyle“.
“We’re trying to present both the present and future of fashion,“ said Michelle Finamore, one of the curators of the Boston exhibition, which has works by 30 emerging and established designers, including Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan and Mary Katrantzou.
“These new technologies are having an effect not only on the way designers design, but also on the way we interact with our garments.“