When you think of Iris Van Herpen, it is hard to come up with another name or brand that resembles it. Since conception, the brand has spent ten years, successfully orchestrating the ambitious relationship of technology and couture fashion.
This season, laser-cutting, pleating and heat-bonding were explored techniques. Many of the looks featured printed striped organza that was pleated into undulating forms, creating mesmerizing lines. Dresses in varying silhouettes were laser-cut to mimic lace, except you know, in metal.
The result is a shimmering, delicate yet structured imitation of the reflection of water. According to WWD, Van Herpen’s inspiration for this collection was water and air.
Ensuring that the show experience is as intense as the garment-viewing experience, Between Music from Denmark was present to provide the music that was performed while submerged in water tanks.
Van Herpen wanted to create an atmosphere that engaged with darkness, and the eeriness of the presentation and the sound from the band certainly provided such a mood.
Iris Van Herpen is one of the major fashion brands exploring technologies such as 3D printing and laser-cutting to create new and different textiles, and you have to wonder why. The fashion industry is notoriously resilient against technology in all forms, including technology in retail and production methods.
This is ironic enough since it is widely acknowledged that fashion is an institution that runs on change, and without change it becomes nothing.
It is at speculation of many that the current elite insiders of the industry are reluctant to these technological changes because it means that they must forsake their high statuses, since the entire social structure of the industry is sure to change after it becomes immersed in the present day technology that most other major industries have already embraced.
For now, we can celebrate van Herpen’s efforts, since they bring new designs impossible without the involvement of such technological feats, redefine the potential of the garment, and shift the materials and waste that are part of the production process.