Iris van Herpen fascinates us. We are attracted to her fearless take on fashion, which has been evolving with time. Unafraid to redefine the definition of couture through her artistry, Iris has made a name for herself as the high-tech priestess of fashion. Combining fine handwork techniques with digital technology, Iris’ latest collection is HYPNOSIS.
Finding inspiration in the hypnotic manifolds within our ecologies through the work of American artist Anthony Howe, Iris’ latest work is all about the three-dimensional cyclical harmony of Howe’s kinetic sculptures. Proving that she is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry, the designer explores the relationship with nature and how it intertwines with infinite expansion and contraction, expressing a universal life cycle. “The meditative movement of the ‘Omniverse’ serves as a portal for the collection and the models, encircling a state of hypnosis”, states their press release.
Credited with being the first designer to create a 3D printed dress for a fashion collection, this couture season, Iris’ collection consists of 19 silhouettes that flow deceptively in transparencies. Multilayered around the body, they revive the ancient silk moiré weaving technique that links to the illusory nature of human perception. The ‘Epicycle’ looks are constructed by multi-layering luminous organza spheres, which challenge the relationship between surface and substance through illusory patterns that wrap into each other infinitely.
The ‘Suminagashi’ garments which reflect the venerable art of Japanese floating ink on water, are laser cut into liquid lines of dyed silk, heat bonded onto transparent tulle to seemingly and seamlessly flow over the skin. The ‘Dichotomy’ looks are laser- printed, heat-bonded and laser cut into contra-positive waves. Each dissected curve is then pressed onto hundreds of ripple-like panels that ebb and flow in an exquisite swell of meticulously hand-stitched silk organza.
“The ‘Hypnosis’ collection is a hypnotic visualisation of nature’s tapestry, the symbiotic cycles of our biosphere that interweave the air, land, and oceans.”Iris van Herpen
“The ‘Hypnosis’ collection is a hypnotic visualisation of nature’s tapestry, the symbiotic cycles of our biosphere that interweave the air, land, and oceans. It also reflects the ongoing dissection of the rhythms of life and resonates with the fragility within these interwoven worlds.”
The ‘Hypnosis’ technique, developed in collaboration with Professor Phillip Beesley involves tens of thousands of plotter cut mini ripples that continuously dissect the dress through each movement of the body, revealing skin in between the whimsical spheroid patterns. The printed Duchesse-satin is plotter cut into thousands of 0.8 mm exquisite waves that each are interlinked, designed to move faster than the eye can follow.
My favourite piece was the finale ‘Infinity’ dress. It came alive on the breath of a finely balanced mechanism. An engineered skeleton of aluminium, stainless steel and bearings are embroidered with a delicate layering of feathers in cyclical flight; revolving around their centre. ‘Hypnosis’ reflects the beauty and complexity of our environment, exploring the patterns and structures within its fragile landscape.