• Sanjali Verma

The Experimental Spirit of the Modernist Vanguard - Iris van Herpen

Somewhere in Amsterdam stands the Maison of Iris van Herpen - a Dutch fashion designer who ambitiously aspires to transcend the ubiquitous boundaries of Haute Couture to unite emerging technologies with intricate craftsmanship.

Iris graduated from the Artez Institute of the Arts in Arnhem and went on to do an internship at Alexander McQueen in London and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam. In 2007, she introduced her label that employed the constructive use of 3D printers assisted by various innovative techniques to bring out the role of “movement” in nearly all of her ethereal garments.

The brand showcases its collections bi-annually at the exclusive Paris Haute Couture Week as a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture. Her recent Autumn-Winter collection, Earthrise, debuted on 5th July 2021, depicting a quest for the exploration of fragility in the marine ecosystem. The collection consists of 19 exquisite garments that seemingly defy the laws of gravity with aquatic motifs and colours in a dynamic system focused on preserving the environment. Five of the designs were made out of recycled plastic sourced from “Parley for the Oceans”.

“Stretching the skies even further, more inspiration came from the historic moment when the Apollo 8 astronauts witnessed the Earth rising above the Moon’s horizon for the very first time and the Earthrise image that was taken by astronaut Bill Anders”, van Herpen explained.

In a few of the looks, we get a glimpse of delicate over-layering with circles in gradient pallet. To one’s eyes, the collection is synonymous with a “living, breathing organism.”

“When I saw Domitille flying in the sky, I felt inspired by her freedom; how she embodies adventure, exploration and fearlessness - the elements that I challenge to explore within fashion”, said van Herpen about Earthrise. Like every other creation at Maison of Iris Van Herpen, Earthrise too is supported by the pillars that uphold the brand — nature, architecture, art, and dance.

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