Iris van Herpen's bird women

The aerial view of the Earth, much like that of bird in flight. That was the poetic and fascinating theme chosen by Iris van Herpen for her spring/summer 2018, presented Monday in Paris at the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie, in the the Jardin des Plantes. And it was a very delicate collection, at that.


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Iris van Herpen - Spring-Summer2018 - Haute Couture - Paris - © PixelFormula

To create height, the Dutch designer, an expert in 3D printing and new materials, perched her models, much like birds on a pedestal, as they walked attached to their shoes. Raised from the ground, their gait undulated as if weightless.

Geometric micro-motifs came printed in 3D on transparent tulle, creating mosaic-style dresses. The fragmented effect took place on laser-cut gowns, with the fine, dark drawings applied to flesh-coloured fabrics, resembling Maori tattoos or African designs.

Iris van Herpen played with light too. Her translucent gowns came alive like shadows in the light of a spotlight. Patterns in silk gave back iridescent reflections, while the colours of the three-dimensional foliage changed from golden to bluish tones, depending on the lighting.

The bird-like dresses at Iris van Herpen ph Yannis Vlamos - ph Yannis Vlamos

Everything seemed to float, as if the clothing glided over the body of these female birds. The tapered sleeves of kimono sets fell along the flanks like wings and thin slats ruffled like feathers, creating movement and volume at the bottom of dresses.

"I zoomed in, to look at the Earth's skin, trying to find the forces hidden behind the forms. Looking from this perspective, I felt inspired by the drawings of chaos and order, nature and civilisation blending into infinite hybridisations," said the designer in a written statement, in describing the collection. 

Translated by Benjamin Fitzgerald

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