Despite last week’s political upheaval, Paris Couture Week pushed forward and provided a much needed distraction for many journalists and media consumers. One designer who always presents awe-worthy pieces, Iris van Herpen, debuted her Spring 2017 couture collection on Monday — and it did not disappoint.
Ms. van Herpen is known for providing the perfect marriage of form and content: she utilizes new technologies to create unique — but still feminine — couture looks. While she may not be a household name (just yet), she is certainly lauded within the fashion and arts community for pushing the boundaries of design. She was one of the first designers to use 3D printing and laser cutting to create her work and continues to use these methods in highly innovative and artistic ways.
Her latest collection, “Between The Lines”, is quintessential van Herpen; she plays with optical illusions and unorthodox materials to produce wearable sculptures that all have a “biology” theme. Her most recent pieces evoke crustaceans and other arthropods through her use of printed lines and monochromatic color scheme.
Perhaps influenced by deep sea documentaries, her translucent-printed pieces were reminiscent of organisms found deep in the ocean (which lack pigmentation).
One simply cannot ignore the wavy laser cut silk dresses as they slinked down the runway. They appear to mimic ripples in water and conjured images of exotic jellyfish dancing in the deep. Even the still photos of the garments captured their mysterious movement.
The collection’s final look was certainly a showstopper; while it was reminiscent of bubbles, fish eggs, and other ocean “froth”, I couldn’t help but see a “Birth of Venus” moment — it was as if she was emerging from the ocean, waves bursting all around her as to present a beautiful woman.
The last designer to push the technological boundaries within a sea-themed collection was Alexander McQueen — so this collection comes as no surprise, as Ms. van Herpen interned under McQueen many years ago.
There is no doubt that Iris van Herpen is a ground-breaking designer — here’s hoping the rest of the industry catches up to the technologies used in her work to produce more futuristic fashion.
Full collection here