In fashion, only with technology can you create something new. Everything else has already been done. — Hussein Chalayan, designer.
At a time when so many designers are involved in streetwear and the post-Soviet wave, we cannot help but notice a lack of renewal. In the middle of this jungle of self-proclaimed heirs of Margiela young brands, one designer keeps the innovation course on. We are looking at the maison Iris van Herpen, the most precious gift from the Netherlands to the rest of the world since the legalization of marijuana.
An obsession with movement
Trained in ballet during her youth, she retains its sense of movement, an ability to understand and predict the evolution of the body that comes to life – determining in clothing design.
After practising at Alexander McQueen’s (whose influence is undeniable) van Herpen founded her label in 2007, driven by her desire to redraw the limits of the silhouette. Her garments have a carnal, almost organic side, like her iconic skeleton dress.
To translate her ideas, the designer does not hesitate to mix materials… and techniques. Her collections are regularly based on 3D printing, combine plastic with delicate lace and swear by laser cutting.
Guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, her team of small hands embroiders resin and knits patterns in metal. Her work is almost reminiscent of that of a plastic artist, as she models unexpected alliances. It is not surprising that her work ended up exhibited in museums, such as the Metropolitan…
Feet in the present, eyes forward
In line with the market, the brand also offers a ready-to-wear line. The pieces faithfully retranscribe the brand’s unique DNA, while offering a declination that is easier to take on for a daily basis.
But the designer doesn’t stop there. Lady Gaga, Benjamin Millepied for the Opéra de Paris, Dom Pérignon, Luc Besson… Her collaborations are countless, leaving her mark through fields such as dance, cinema and music.
Last feat of arms: history will remember the “Aeriform” fashion show, celebrating the brand’s 10th anniversary in 2017. Surrounding the models, the podium is punctuated by musicians and singers playing underwater. Between dream and science fiction, Iris van Herpen continues to feed on the prowesses of our time to imagine a new type of fashion for the future… •