Iris van Herpen presents the couture collection, ‘Hypnosis’ at Élysée Montmartre in Paris. Taking American artist Anthony Howe as inspiration, van Herpen incorporates elements in the collection and runway to create an encircling state of hypnosis. Howe is well known for his kinetic sculptures which use the wind to become animated much like a mobile. The effect produces a three dimensional sculpture that takes shape with the use of nature. This meditative gesture forms the infinite expansion and contraction that van Herpen employs – a metaphor for the universal life cycle. As the earth continues to warm (as many currently feel from the heatwave sweeping Paris), this is a collection connected to the elements and Mother Nature.
‘The ‘Hypnosis’ collection is a hypnotic visualisation of nature’s tapestry, the symbiotic cycles of our biosphere that interweave the air, land, and oceans. It also reflects the ongoing dissection of the rhythms of life and resonates with the fragility within these interwoven worlds.’ – Iris van Herpen.
Delicate dyed silks and tulle create ethereal silhouettes that seem otherworldly and are quite frankly, breathtaking. The decorative motifs of Art Deco as seen in films like “Metropolis” come across in a novel elegance we haven’t seen before. Although static, pieces vibrate as when Howe’s sculptures do when brushed with wind. The laser cut fabrics show how the harshness of technological precision can be crafted delicately into eye-defying shapes. It goes without saying this is one of the strongest couture collections we have witnessed in recent memory.
The ‘Hypnosis’ collection consists of 19 silhouettes that flow deceptively in transparencies. Multilayered around the body, they revive the ancient silk moiré weaving technique that links to the illusory nature of human perception. The ‘Epicycle’ looks are constructed by multi-layering luminous organza spheres, which challenge the relationship between surface and substance through illusory patterns that wrap into each other infinitely. The ‘Suminagashi’ garments which reflect the venerable art of Japanese floating ink on water, are lasercut into liquid lines of dyed silk, heat bonded onto transparent tulle to seemingly and seamlessly flow over the skin. The ‘Dichotomy’ looks are laser- printed, heat-bonded and lasercut into contra-positive waves. Each dissected curve is then pressed onto hundreds of ripple-like panels that ebb and flow in an exquisite swell of meticulously hand stitched silk organza. The ‘Hypnosis’ technique, developed in collaboration with Professor Phillip Beesley involves ten of thousands of plottercut mini ripples that continuously dissect the dress through each movement of the body, revealing skin in between the whimsical spheroid patterns. The printed duchesse-satin is plottercut into thousands of 0.8 mm exquisite waves that each are interlinked, designed to move faster than the eye can follow.