Iris Van Herpen in Poznan

This might sound truly surreal, but yes, an exhibition dedicated to Iris Van Herpen‘s sci-fi creations has opened in my hometown, Poznań. “Alchemic Couture” is on show until the end of January in Stary Browar’s Art Station Gallery and presents some of the most striking designs coming straight from Van Herpen’s studio in Amsterdam. This exhibition shows how Iris van Herpen perceives haute couture as a transformative language, an interdisciplinary entity that emerges from the space in which innovation and craftsmanship interlace. The Iris van Herpen maison was founded in 2007 and showcases its collections bi-annually at Paris Haute Couture Week as a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture. The brand stands for slow fashion with a multi-disciplinary approach towards collaborations with artists, architects and scientists. Each collection is a quest to venture beyond today’s definition of a garment, exploring new forms of femininity for a more meaningful, diverse and conscious fashion for the future. Organic, innovative femininity is expressed through state-of-the-art couture that embraces individuality powerfully and fearlessly. Van Herpen’s work is deeply rooted within nature – water, air and earth are elements that leave traces in the sensorial garments. The infinite properties alluding to movement such as the unbound forces and fluidity behind water or its crystalline formations are facets that flow into the designs. Through biomimicry, the maison visualises and materialises the invisible forces that shape our world, perpetuating a deep sense of organic presence. Captivated by architecture and how we embody space and inhabit sculpture, Van Herpen recognises both fashion and architecture as expressions of self, culture and community that link to the times and fabric of society. Changes of perception provoked through dichotomies between the hard and soft, structure and movement encompass the poetics of the brand’s craft. Transcending boundaries within the industry by liberating our sense of limitations, the maison is known for binding emerging technologies like elaborate 3-D printing or laser-cutting with delicate handwork such as embroidering or draping, creating a hybrid of haute couture. ‘Craftolution’, coined as the evolution of craftsmanship and the embracement of change form the core of the brand’s identity, fusing layered lightness, three-dimensionality, and undulating volume into ethereal creations. Summing up, seeing those works IRL is a mind-blowing experience.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

The MET was Heaven.

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Maria Carla Boscono by Juergen Teller.

I very rarely write about such mainstream events as the MET Gala, but this year was awkwardly… good. A heaven’s gift, even. Noting this year’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination theme, the guests had to give a thought to their appearance. Actually, it could have gone all wrong. But, surprisingly, some of the looks will become somewhat iconic! And that’s something to cherish. It’s truly pleasing to know that there are actors, musicians and celebrities that want to break the norms and dare to stand out on the red carpet – especially at MET, where boredom should leave right away.

I know I might look really late with this fellow ranking of the best looks, comparing to all the others in the industry (well, my final exams are in progress, so please do excuse me!). But still, posting this feels like a right thing to do.

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How I love Frances McDormand in this Valentino haute couture ensemble. She looks so non-chalant, yet chilled out. And she smoked a cigarette, while wearing that magnificent headwear. Thanks God for Pierpaolo Piccioli, who really nailed it with that collection, and thanks God for Frances, a woman to adore and admire.

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Well, Rihanna in John Galliano‘s major Maison Margiela pope fashion. No explanation needed I guess.

 

Anthony Vaccarello‘s Saint Laurent gang of dark angels that featured Zoë Kravitz, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anja Rubik, Kate Moss, Mica Arganaraz and Charlotte Casiraghi. Hell yes.

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Solange in Iris Van Herpen is somewhere between an alien dominatrix and a Goddess. Can be two at a time, why not.

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Possibly, Greta Gerwig wanted to look elegantly invisible. Well, that dramatic The Row dress was the MET Gala’s most serene fashion moment, but in the best possible way. A nun goes to the ball! Love.

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Susie Cave‘s velvet Gucci gown is pure romance, as if taken straight from a romantic era ballad.

I’m picky, I know. But those were my ultimate favourites. Amen.

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Science Chic. Iris Van Herpen SS15

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Iris Van Herpen is known for her scientific approach towards fashion. For summer, the designer was inspired with magnets- the name of the collection Magnetic Motion, which matches perfectly. A visit to the Large Handron Collider in CERN, Switzerland was for Iris the thing. There, where the atoms are divided in two, Van Herpen learnt how to “connect”. She applied the idea to manipulating the building blocks of the collection at times—for example, the shoes were “grown” with magnets and a fixative applied, each one slightly different. The pièce de résistance “halo” silhouettes at the end of the show were the physical embodiment in silicone of invisible magnetic forces. These were perfected by the Canadian architect Philip Beesley, one of Van Herpen’s frequent collaborators, who was joined this time by the Dutch artist Jólan van der Wiel.
 And all of that super high-technology applied on a simple, black dress or a tunic. You must admit- the effect is ground-shaking.

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Biopiracy. Iris Van Herpen AW14

tumblr_n2016zskGD1rehfjko2_500Iris Van Herpen is a designer, that is between high-technology and imagination. And, what’s most exciting about her, is the fact, that she makes both of these things real- or rather bio-real. Her ready-to-wear collection for AW14 showed in Paris was called Biopiracy- the biological respiration. Three models were elevated in vacuum spaces, having their air taken away every minute by the plastic which shrinked. The models looked very alien- like if an UFO was going to be born! Surely, that made the show really buzzed about (to that degree that National Geographic got interested in it)… But talking of the collection it was… extreme. Not only because of the shoes designed by Rem Koolhas, but becasue of the sci-fi shapes and fabrics. The most obvious example of this is her groundbreaking embracing of 3-D printing, which is becoming something of a signature. It gives many of her clothes an architectural quality, and today’s final silicone 3-D-printed dress was made in conjunction with one of her collaborators, the Canadian architect Philip Beesley. Collaboration is key for Van Herpen; one of her other working relationships is with the Material Department of MIT. Her next step is a project with CERN—yes, the supercollider people… Iris knows how to make Paris Fashion Week go outer space!Slide1-kopia 5tumblr_n20fdn8SHd1rmvxfgo9_1280 Slide2Slide3 tumblr_n20fdn8SHd1rmvxfgo2_500 Slide4 tumblr_n2016zskGD1rehfjko1_500 Slide5

HC: Untitled Couture AW13

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There is no word that really can express the Maison Martin Margiela Haute Couture collection for AW13. It’s as always untitled, I would say, taken from laboratory and still not checked. There is such big splendour of styles, fabrics in one collection, that it’s strange it all works out together, even if it not. Latex trousers reminding of jeans and a white vinyl top with a classical Margiela veil opened the show, without music, special decorations and colours. It’s not a show, but a presentation of art. This is the first time when Margiela team work with Swarovski, to create jewellery and even… Boots! The heels of these amazing boots had a Swarovski crystal outgrow that looked fascinating. Just as the unique horse nail “finger” space in Maison Martin Margiela shoes!
The collection based a lot on embroidery inspired with Asian flowers. Mostly, all looks had something of flowers- veils, vests, skirts… There was a visible hand work on everything, even on scares that were held by few models. What I enjoyed most in the collection was mixing denim and art, that’s rare in couture. The look were a model wears casual pair of jeans, marble face veil and a flower embroidered vest is my favourite. It is very different and just untitled!

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If talking of more art than couture that’s still classified as fashion, Iris Van Herpen is located definitely in this uncertain spot. “Beyond Wildness” was the title of her 11 looks collection. But, each look was steeped into the nature- it was a deep forest dress, with the spirit of Japan and the surface of a wild wood or branches as light as cobwebs as strange nature inspired decoration.
Working with artist Jolan van der Wiel, who created the magnetically grown surfaces (sounds amusing) and many other artists, Van Herpen created a collection that is really out of that world. But the designer still has to think over all her ideas, before creating the scientific collections with it’s clear message. Photos of the backstage and collection are taken from T Magazine!

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