While some of fashion’s critics, both inside and outside the industry, often bemoan what they see as pillaging from the past at worst, and at best, a myriad of retro references in many of today’s designer collections, there is one fashion creative who is undoubtedly looking forward. Iris van Herpen’s work is inspired by the future, and her fusing of fashion, art and science constantly pushes the boundaries of traditional couture.
The Dutch designer's 10th anniversary collection, entitled ‘Aeriform’, continued to show her experimental side – the two closing looks were constructed from delicate metal filaments crafted into cage-like structures - but for those who are perhaps willing to take a bolder step onto the red carpet, there were also several award ceremony-worthy looks among the more forward-thinking creations.
Taking the fluidity of water and air as inspiration, sheer organza sheaths were printed and pleated to form wave-like shapes, which cascaded down the models’ bodies. Form fitting metallic columns provided a first glance-contrast, but on closer inspection they too reflected a sense of movement, the stretch fabric laser cut to create a similarly rippled effect.
As one would expect, van Herpen’s collections are presented as performance art rather than a traditional runway show, and for Fall ’17 Couture, the models were accompanied by a haunting soundtrack courtesy of Denmark’s Between Music. The five-piece collective’s AquaSonic project involves the musicians playing while submerged in water tanks, and the atmospheric sounds which echoed around the show space perfectly captured the spirit and inspiration behind the designer's collection.