It has been a full week since Iris van Herpen presented her collection on 2nd July 2018 at Le Trianon in Paris. The beautiful Haute Couture collection named, ‘Syntopia’, explored the new worlds that arise within synthetic biology and the intertwining relationships between the organic and the inorganic.
Iris van Herpen and The Minutiae of Bird Flight
‘Syntopia’ acknowledges the current scientific shift in which biology converges with technology and visualizes the fragility and power within. Collaborating with the artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift, who created a spatial kinetic installation in 18 different steps of flying in an abstract way. The vivacious glass bird flows in symbiosis with the models while they move over the runway, their delicate interaction emphasizes the fragility of new worlds living and soaring together.
The collection begins with one of the oldest artisanal techniques – weaving. Here, traditional weaving and cutting-edge was digitally designed and the weaving was intertwined to create a series of ‘Syntopic’ coats and dresses in laser-cut wool that was woven with leather through parametric file making to literally cut into time. “As a former dancer, the transformation within movement has hypnotized me. For this collection I looked closely at the minutiae of bird flight and the intricate echoing forms within avian motion. The artists Studio Drift and the scientist Etienne Jules Marey inspired me to look more closely at the draping of a garment through chronophotography. By slowing down time into split seconds I started breaking down the usual draping of fabric, to then layer the miliseconds all slightly shifted, like the layering of a bird’s feather.” says van Herpen.
Those who attended the show got a glimpse of transparent silk organza pleated and liquid-coated, its transparent folds continually overlap in different directions to slow down movement, resembling the glass lines of the show’s kinetic installation. The ‘Inside a second’ technique translates the artistry of Studio Drift and the chronophotographic lines of birdflight into thousands of two-toned transparent organza layers that are lasercut and heatbonded with mylar and cotton, that drape like time-lapse motion.
Our favourite had to be the mini ‘Mimesis’ corset dresses. They were made from bird’s soundwave patterns that are lasercut of mylar, black cotton, red organza and transparent black acrylic sheets, layering the silk and acrylic like a feather’s architecture.