iris van herpen sculpts 'kinetic couture' that moves as models walk the runway

iris van herpen sculpts 'kinetic couture' that moves as models walk the runway

iris van herpen takes inspiration from the kinetic sculptures of american artist anthony howe for her latest collection at this year’s paris couture week. the dutch designer presented 19 dresses that moved with the wind as models walked the runway wearing technologically mesmerizing pieces made from layers of ancient silk moiré.

iris van herpen 'kinetic couture' moves as models walk the runway

images courtesy of iris van herpen



aptly titled ‘hypnosis’, the show was staged around howe‘s spherical ‘omniverse’ sculpture, which served as a portal for the collection. echoing the same mechanisms, its title-piece featured an engineered skeleton of spirals made of aluminum, stainless steel and bearings, embroidered with a delicate layering of feathers in cyclical flight.



as seen in previous collections, herpen presented her take on ‘suminagashi’ garments, named after the japanese ink-on-water technique. to create these pieces the designer laser-cut liquid lines of dyed silk before heat bonding them onto transparent tulle. there were also several dresses made of layered iridescent organza shaped into spheres, which herpen calls ‘epicycle’ looks.



‘the ‘hypnosis’ collection is a hypnotic visualisation of nature’s tapestry, the symbiotic cycles of our biosphere that interweave the air, land, and oceans,’ says iris van herpen. ‘it also reflects the ongoing dissection of the rhythms of life and resonates with the fragility within these interwoven worlds.’



finally, for her ‘dichotomy’ looks, herpen laser-printed, heat-bonded and lasercut the material into contra-positive waves. each dissected curve was pressed onto hundreds of ripple-like panels that ebb and flow in an exquisite swell of meticulously hand stitched silk organza.



to create the technological ‘hypnosis’ couture, van herpen collaborated with architect and long-time collaborator philip beesley. together they created a technique that involves tens of thousands of plotter cut mini ripples that continuously dissect the dress through each movement of the body.



the printed duchesse-satin is plotter cut into thousands of 0.8 mm exquisite waves that each are interlinked, designed to move faster than the eye can follow.


project info


designer: iris van herpen

collection: hypnosis (fw19 couture)

artist: anthony howe

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