Fashion X Technology: Pierre Renaux
The French designer creates 3D-printed heels inspired by bones in disrepair
A recent graduate from Antwerp’s esteemed Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Pierre Renaux has already amassed a transformative body of work. Renaux’s debut collection—also his Master's thesis—"Liquidation Totale" is a futuristic love letter to his fascination with the female body and its duality. The featured garments use synthetic materials such as neoprene and plastic to depict stylized states of distress, speaking to Renaux’s vision of powerful women amongst a state of ruin.
The collection’s title is derived from the final decree of closure commonly etched on French storefronts. Renaux’s previous collections, "Mode Sans Echec" (Fashion Without Fail) and "Tout Doit Disparaitre" (Everything Must Disappear) round out "Liquidation Totale" as a triptych body of work. For his 2011 "Tout Doit Disparaitre" collection, Renaux paired with 3D data developers 4DDynamics to create digital body scans of his pieces.
Renaux's precocious eye and sense of experimentation have catapulted him into the fashion spotlight, landing him previous gigs with the likes of Rick Owens and Thierry Mugler. This year, Renaux won the Coccodrillo award for shoe design thanks to an arresting piece of wearable art, the "Totale Osmose." The striking shoes' heels reflect a sense of absence and dissolution, drawing inspiration from an unlikely source—the bone disease osteoporosis, which makes bones become increasingly brittle over time. “With age, the women’s bones get less and less dense of matter," explains Renaux. "I found this idea of women becoming more and more empty throughout life to be very poetic."
Following in line with his previous work, Renaux recently partnered with leading 3D printer Materialise.“I chose 3D printing for the exact reason that I would not be limited shape-wise," said Renaux. Rather, the technology allows him to "go deep in details virtually and then obtain a strong, lightweight object." The resulting architecturally structured heels are based on a classic stiletto, but "mutated into a gravity-defying pedestal that's both delicate and menacing."
Images courtesy of Pierre Renaux and Materialise