BETWEEN THE LINES | IRIS VAN HERPEN'S FANTASY COUTURE

In the world of haute couture, Iris Van Herpen prevails as one of the most innovative designers of the times. This season is no exception, with the release of the Amsterdam based atelier’s Spring 2017 collection Between The Lines, which saw Van Herpen delving into new creative territories and pushing the boundaries of couture further than ever before.

Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of  Iris Van Herpen

Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of Iris Van Herpen


The collection was presented on stage at the Maison des Métallos in Paris, to the backdrop of a specially curated installation by Berlin based artist Esther Stocker, renowned for her manipulation of dimensional geometries. Between The Lines takes inspiration from the designers’ fascination with the beauty of errors and digital glitches. Putting the focus on negative space, the designer’s collection showcases a series of optical manipulations, where hypnotic repetitive patterns prompt the eye to discover new patterns existing ‘between the lines’.


Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of  Vogue

Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of Vogue


Van Herpen’s sixteen piece collection comes in a minimal monochromatic palette. The garments take a sculptural stance, using techniques such as hand moulding and laser cutting to create patterns and illusions which sync up with the body’s movements. Van Herpen collaborated with artist and architect Philip Beesley on this collection, the pair focused on the gaps between the structures rather than the structures themselves, to create an element of visual trickery.


Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of  Dezeen

Between The Lines | Photography Courtesy of Dezeen


This work tends to live at the edges of perception. I notice that Iris often works with things that are stretched and worked to the limits of their capacity, bringing those into gentle, finely tuned balance.
— Philip Beesley
Alchemy of Light Dress | Photography Courtesy of  Dezeen

Alchemy of Light Dress | Photography Courtesy of Dezeen


Van Herpen’s mesmerising finale dress captures all the possibilities of the fantasy and otherworldliness of couture. “Alchemy of Light” is the real masterpiece of Between The Lines, made using six design processes including laser-cutting and vacuum-molding. Due to the heat-molding process used, there was no pattern to follow in the making of the dress, allowing for a degree of unpredictability. The designer says that it would be impossible for them to make exactly the same dress again, it is truly a unique piece.


Alchemy of Light Dress | Photography Courtesy of  Iris Van Herpen

Alchemy of Light Dress | Photography Courtesy of Iris Van Herpen


Between the Lines | Photography Courtesy of Iris Van Herpen

Between the Lines | Photography Courtesy of Iris Van Herpen


There’s beauty in contrast.. I need both chaos and control. When I have too much control I tend to search for disruption to make space for improvisation again and the other way around.

— Iris Van Herpen

This article was originally written for HausMag. See my full collection of articles for the publication here.

References

– Iris Van Herpen [accessed March 2017]

http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2017-couture/iris-van-herpen/ [accessed March 2017]

http://www.irisvanherpen.com/ [accessed March 2017]