IRIS VAN HER­PEN

FALL 2017 COU­TURE

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As the lines be­tween fact and fan­tasy con­tinue to blur out owing to the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal hap­pen­ings around the world, re­al­ity it­self be­comes sur­real.

En­ter master of sur­re­al­ism, Iris van Her­pen, who has in­ad­ver­tently earned a name for her­self in the uni­verse that ex­ists be­tween the two cor­ner­stones of tra­di­tion and tech­nol­ogy.

Known for her avant-garde tech­niques and sense of style, the Am­s­ter­dam based de­signer shifted her sched­ule to Paris on an in­vi­ta­tion of the Fédéra­tion Française de la Cou­ture in Spring 2011.

The de­signer’s Fall 2017 Cou­ture col­lec­tion also marked her name­sake brand’s 10th an­niver­sary, for which she pre­sented 18 fu­tur­is­tic looks that blurred the bound­aries be­tween al­lure as­so­ci­ated with cou­ture and the com­plex­ity of mind as­so­ci­ated with sci­en­tific tech­nol­ogy.

As per pre­sen­ta­tion notes, the col­lec­tion ex­plores ‘the na­ture and anatomy of air and the power of wa­ter’, and the flu­id­ity char­ac­ter­ized by both.

Com­plex lazer-cut­ting tech­niques went hand-in-hand with heat bond­ing pro­cesses that trans­lated them­selves onto gar­ments that were 3D moulded and fused into form.

Harpen worked mag­i­cally with barely-there ma­te­ri­als such as tulle and or­ganza to cre­ate mas­ter­pieces that mim­icked the light­ness of air and the surface of wa­ter. Wave-like pat­terns were cre­ated on floor-graz­ing gowns in or­ganza by print­ing lin­ear pat­terns over the translu­cent fab­ric which was then pleated to mir­ror the rip­pled ef­fect as­so­ci­ated with wa­ter.

A short dress flaunted columns of sil­ver lace which were laser cut and pleated in moiré pat­terned or­ganza to cre­ate un­du­lat­ing ruf­fles, while in an­other piece, thin strips of sil­ver were hand stitched into a turtle­neck mini dress giv­ing the il­lu­sion of be­ing formed by liq­uid mer­cury.

The most ex­per­i­men­tal piece came in the form of a dress which was crafted out of feather-weight metal wires that were cut into ge­o­desic 3D flower pat­terns strewn to­gether to cre­ate an in­stal­la­tion-wor­thy cos­tume.

Of­ten con­sid­ered as par­al­lel uni­verses, fash­ion and tech­nol­ogy are in fact in­sep­a­ra­bly con­nected, now more than ever be­fore, and Iris van Her­pen aims to ex­plore the same con­cept in terms of rec­on­cil­ing the world of hand­made with tech­nol­ogy in the cre­ation of haute cou­ture.

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