Issue 7

Photos by Rahel Pasztor Words by Sarah Dorkenwald
Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen’s haute couture is avantgarde in its purest form—futuristic, protean, sensuous and multifaceted. The Dutch-born designer, a prominent player in the Paris fashion world, constantly surprises and inspires with collections that seamlessly meld fashion, art, design, technology and science. Her Amsterdam studio is the crucible for her designs; these breathtaking works of art are crafted from wafer-thin, often laser-­ut fabrics, or 3D-printed ornamental textures which she meta­morphoses into complex body-­hugging sculptures. She is known for her readiness to experiment and explore new ideas, and often uses unexpected materials like silicon, acrylic glass, steel filings and resin. The earthy, natural hues and organic lines of her creations are reminiscent of butterflies, hybrid mythical beasts or entire landscapes, revealing van Herpen’s deep affinity with nature. The ­female body undergoes a continu­ous process of change and transformation that parallels her fashion. In our interview, she talks about what transformation means to her and describes new technologies that may influence her designs in the future.

Shift Souls

“For Shift Souls I looked at the evolution of the human shape, its idealization through time and the hybridization of the female forms within mythology. Specially the imagination and the fluidity within identity change in Japanese mythology gave me the inspiration to explore the deeper meaning of identity and how immaterial and mutable it can become within the current coalescence of digital bodies. Iris van Herpen

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