Magnetism meets fashion, forging dresses from iron

The world of fashion isn't often a place you would look to find scientific innovation, but every now and again even haute couture can surprise us. Recently, as part of Dutch Design Week, artist Jólan Van der Wiel and designer Iris Van Herpen collaborated on a pair of dresses that were designed more by magnetism than their own hands.

Van der Wiel in particular has a history of using magnetism in his work. In order to forge his unique creations, he's crafted something he calls "the gravity tool," which resembles some kind of medieval torture device. Basically it's a housing for a good number of very strong magnets. When a composite of iron filings and molten plastic is loaded into the gravity tool, Van der Wiel is capable of manipulating the material while it hardens.

Basically, the process is a sort of battle between gravity and the magnets which creates structures with an inherent sense of turmoil embedded in their final forms. And with Van Herpen in the mix, these two designs also ended up looking a lot like what high fashion calls dresses. They also kinda look like the surface of the moon. Take a look at the gallery below to get a closer look at what magnets, iron and plastic can do in the right hands.

Jólan Van der Wiel, via Designboom

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