Art, Design, Fashion, Science
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he could be a shoe maker or a fashion designer or an architect or a furniture designer. I mean just look at Dutch designer Jólan van der Wiel. His expertise in working with magnets and the natural phenomena that comes with it has allowed him to cross disciplines and seamlessly combine both areas into works of amazement and sheer beauty. 

‘In my studio we try to forget everyday life and use our imagination .

I admire objects that show an experimental discovery, translated to a functional design. I see future potential in the joined cooperative forces of combining technology with natural phenomena. It is my belief that developing new “tools” is an important means of inspiration and allows new forms to take shape’ – van der Wiel on his studio’s approach.

In his latest collaboration with Avant-garde fashion designer Iris van Herpen, van der Wiel created shoes and acessories for her Spring Summer 2015 ready-to-wear show. Alongside was Iris’s speciality 3D printed dresses. The prickly looking shoes were created by combining resin with iron fillings and then shaped around a base shoe. Before the soft plastic material set into shape, strong magnets (here’s where magneto could be of great help) were used to pull small portions into spikes across the surface.



According to van der Wiel, even though the shoes may look dangerous and volatile, the material is actually soft and almost cuddly. Each pair of platforms is unique due to the production process. The material behaves slightly differently when manipulated by the magnets due to the arrangement of the filings. Pigments are mixed into the resin in different quantities and distributions, creating a variety of colours from pure black through to marbled grey. The collection also feature waist belts and choker necklaces which have longer spikes in the centre, pointing out from the body.

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This is the not the first time the Dutch designers have worked together and previously they have worked on a Iris van Herpen’s 2013 collection where the duo conceptualised and produced a series of magnetic dresses. Each dress took an approximate 2-3 weeks to complete using the same technique as mentioned.


The magic of Jolan van der Wiel never just stop at fashion. Van der Wiel first started using magnets to form objects while studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Using the same technique and material, he has branched out into furniture design where he create stools, candle stands, bowls and has also even dabbled in architecture.


Here’s a video of how van der Wiel works his magic with the magnetic material. Simply surreal and beautiful. I could just bamble on how splendid these are but I would much prefer for you guys to just click replay several times on the video and get sucked into it.

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