You are not going to find clothes like these anywhere else. I promise. After suspending a model from the ceiling in plastic last season, we didn’t really know what to expect from Iris Van Herpen prior to today’s show. We knew it would be creative. We knew it would be original. We were definitely not disappointed. Oh, that more designers were willing to wander around through creative scenes like this. Fashion would be so much more than traipsing through 40-year-old silhouettes.
For spring/sumer 2015, van Herpen gets all sciencey on us with a collection that explores magnetism between opposing forces. She does this in collaboration with architect Philip Beesley. The result is a ready-to-wear collection that is unlike anything seen on any other runway. When we mention structure we typically think modernist and/or minimalist, but van Herpen takes this an entirely different direction.
She does try to gently ease us into her concepts. starting by overlaying a blue metallic structure on top of a little black dress. Once she gets us into it, though, she’s full on with looks that boggle the mind. There’s a 3D effect to every piece. Even the shoes look like pieces of metallic dust pulled by magnets.
Geometric lattice work encompasses the majority of the collection. Beesley refers to it as wearable architecture and that pretty well describes what we see. There is some resemblance to an A-line dress a couple of times, but for others a more natural silhouette is applied and there are a couple of instances where the curves are so unorthodox we get the feeling they were attempting to see just how far they could stretch the concept before it would break.
My hands-down favorite has to be the dresses with thorns. Visually, the black on white looks the best. For personal effect, though, running into someone wearing one of the black-on-black pieces would be one incredibly intimidating … and possibly dangerous. For all the women I know who hate having their personal space violated, consider these clothes your enforcement wardrobe.
Where van Herpen gets this ideas, I don’t know. The penultimate piece looks as though it were carved from ice; beautiful and chilling at the same time.
Fashion needs more of this kind of creativity, people who pay little attention to trends and go about setting their own look. Yes, this means invoking more risks and I understand that makes investors and stock holders a bit nervous. Assuming van Herpen continues in her creative quest, it is inevitable that sooner or later she will have a season that just doesn’t work for her. This is not that season, though. Iris van Herpen scores huge with this collection and makes us look forward to seeing what she does to top it next February.
Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier