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By: Mike Mills

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How good are you in physics? Iris van Herpen SS11 AIFW 2010

It’s completely dark once the lights are turned off. The space is vibrating with one single pounding noise, rumbling and booming through the air. Then, drops of water are heard, and with that a huge 3D animated hologram fills the back wall. A naked girl, splashed with water, slowly turning around the water and ending being dressed in an ice gown. Crystallization…

“In the transformation of water in to crystal, Iris van Herpen finds the liquid chaos, which evolves to a solid architectural structure, which is the inspiration to this ‘Crystallization’ collection.” explains the informative piece of paper that some of us have gotten their hands on. With the ten outfits the 26-year old designer gives us a preview of what’s to come in London Fashion Week, where she’ll be showing the entire SS11 collection.

The sound is now an electric beat, with drops and water sounds in it. The first model walks the catwalk bare footed, the rest is wearing heels with little chains, a continued collaboration with United Nude, the architectural shoe label of Rem D. Koolhaas. Both the movement as the crystallization of the collection is mirrored in these shoes.

Iris van Herpen often takes an intangible process and tries to translate this in her collection. This time it’s the physical process of water turning into ice, making the models look as ice sculptures, with frozen ice in their hair, and wonderful ice wings. She uses leather in greys and browns, symmetrical dresses with asymmetrical organic shaped ice wings, which remind of butterflies. Medieval collars appear to be an inspiration, as they are pleated around the entire front of the upper body, letting the back of the model exposed. The shadows of the models are reflected on the back wall, and give the impression of a huge superwoman walking out of space.

The crowd is getting hysterical, as it’s so fresh and so innovative, though van Herpen’s signature remains very visible. The combination of new, innovative techniques, as the 3D printing, with handcrafted pieces brings an inspiring opposite in the collection.

Pictures: Peter Stigter

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