Iris van Herpen’s collections have always been an absolute example of exceptional visionary thinking, a gaze into what is about to come and an elegant reference to the best examples of the past. We witnessed yet another strong collection, presented during Paris Fashion Week. In Petit Palais in Paris, the guests were submerged in an overwhelming dose of beauty, called “Shift Souls”. Iris van Herpen’s creations are a perfectly intriguing mixture of early astronomical discoveries, advance in biology (especially in recent decades) and art. No, these sources of inspiration have nothing in common, at least at first glance. But the Dutch designer has managed to embody this peculiar combination into 18 stunning looks with the help of layering and a warm, somewhat earthy colour palette.
The designer herself shares that she has looked at human evolution, the development in the human body, the idealisation of some designs and the hybridisation of female forms, especially in Japanese mythology. And this is namely where she finds inspiration for the story that follows the collection and for the deep dive into the perpetual search of identity. The collection is preceded by in-depth research into sky maps and mythological drawings as well as the latest successes in DNA engineering, especially in creating human—animal hybrids, created by combining cells from the two species. According to Iris van Herpen, we are on the verge of a brand new scientific reality which can be traced back to the early mythological dreams and perceptions from the dawn of human civilisation.
The materials used in the collection correspond to the whole concept. Pleats, organza and hand-dyed fabrics. The names of the looks come close to cosmic perceptions: Cosmica, Galactica, Harmonia. Iris van Herpen relies on modern production technologies, using the power and properties of the laser when it comes to the cutting and manipulation of the extraordinary shapes.
The atmosphere during the show managed to transport all the guests into a wondrous otherworldly setting thanks to a light-and-laser experience that cut through space and brought about… almost real clouds.
Should we speak the truth, we need to say one thing. We loved the collection even without the cosmic or the scientific parts! Beautiful, extraordinary and feminine silhouettes that we would love to wear.
Text: Thea Nikolova
Photos: Vogue, Fashion United