ONE LOOK: IRIS VAN HERPEN HAUTE COUTURE AW16
As time advances, an incredible joy stems from the limitless possibility and definition of fashion design. From technology to cultural interdependence, the rules of design have extended to imaginative realms. For Dutch couturier and imaginative priestess, Iris Van Herpen, “normal rules don’t apply”, as stated on her digital interface. This mantra, accompanied with the right time and the right idea, creates the visualization for Van Herpen’s cutting-edge and fearless portfolio. Known for reinterpreting natural elements into magnificent design pieces, Van Herpen is a hi-tech designer who not only adds value from the fashion industry into the world, but also establishes a timeless trait for otherworldly designs.
In an interview with Dazed & Confused, the womenswear creator admitted to being “inspired by the impossible” and is committed to body movement, form, structure and material. This season, the couture futurist interpreted sound waves into sculptural silhouettes with the collection SEIJAKU. Seijaku, a Japanese aesthetic, means tranquility or serenity in the midst of activity. Van Herpen’s Fall/Winter 2016 couture presentation, shown at the historic Protestant church, Eglise Réformée de l’Oratoire du Louvre was both tranquil and serene as models stood as sculptures draped in geometric patterns. Japanese musician, Kazuya Nagaya, was commissioned by the designer to create a Zen bowl sound accompaniment intensified by microphones. As the sound of bells echoed through the setting’s architecture, models engaged in an expressive dance of the limbs.
Stomping on wooden platforms, silhouettes were full of movement. The collection began with plissé, organza dresses which translated into a structure of hexagonal-like cells created by the Shibori technique used by Van Herpen. From there, thousands of silicone-coated Swarovski water drop crystals and handblown glass bubbles were embroidered onto a floor-length gown and cocktail-style dress heightening the senses of sound sight as the crystals gleamed and edged the sound bowl setup.
“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body,” Van Herpen states on her website. “I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting.” Van Herpen’s experimental force in the fashion industry makes her a pioneer in avant-garde design. The multidimensional experience that she creates reminds us of what it means to exist and how that can translate artistically. VisionaireFILM’s fifth episode of ONE LOOK shows the intricate process of Van Herpen’s magnificent collection.