Iris Van Herpen; Attire for the Chimera
A designer’s creations oscillate between the worlds of fashion, sculpture, and science.
Iris van Herpen is 33 years old and, though not a scientist, her improbable clothing entertains the possibilities of technology and is inspired by elements of the natural world which become objects of art and break, spectacularly, with everything we consider fashion or even clothing. “I don’t think of fashion as being clothes, or a discipline. I think of it being much more. I see fashion as a dialogue between our inside and our outside,” says the Dutch designer.
Ten years after launching, van Herpen’s line, a collection of art objects and sculptures that might well inhabit a museum, boasts articles that seem to be made of bubbles, the skins of mythical animals, plumage from an otherworldly bird, or the surface of a coral reef. For their creation, van Herpen uses technological tools – 3D-printing, magnetic fibers, silicon, acrylic, and laser cutting, to name just a few of her techniques. For the Magnetic Motion collection, for example, she was inspired by the forces of magnetism to create pieces (not only garments) which give the illusion of floating around the bodies of those who wear them.
Van Herpen’s work has been featured in several art shows in some of the world’s most recognized museums as examples of the novel relationship between fashion and technology. She’s dressed other eccentric creators, like Björk, in the dress worn on the album cover and during the tour for Biophilia. She also collaborated on the garments worn by Scarlett Johannson in the film, Lucy, by French director Luc Besson. One of her runway exhibitions was set to music by a band who accompanied her from enormous tanks of water (for which instruments and hydrophones that played underwater were developed). She’s created costumes for opera and ballet companies all over the world and worked with some of the world’s most renowned architectural firms.
Van Herpen’s work escapes a simple definition, (similar to the art objects of Japanese designer, Rei Kawakubo). She creates a harmonious dialogue with disciplines like science, architecture and the visual arts. Spectacular volumes and textures invite a reimagining of the possibilities of the human body, and its silhouette, in a display of the most unprecedented expressions. All the while, they break with the conventions that define what, until now, we thought of as fashion. Perhaps, van Herpen, the visionary, has created something more than fashion; a practice as yet unnamed, and whose canvas is the body. It’s an extravagant material expression of our most eccentric subjectivity.
When ancient rituals became religion
The emergence of religions irreversibly changed the history of humanity. It’s therefore essential to ask when and how did ancient peoples’ rituals become organized systems of thought, each with their
Seven ancient maps of the Americas
A map is not the territory. —Alfred Korzybski Maps are never merely maps. They’re human projections, metaphors in which we find both the geographical and the imaginary. The cases of ghost islands
An artist crochets a perfect skeleton and internal organs
Shanell Papp is a skilled textile and crochet artist. She spent four long months crocheting a life-size skeleton in wool. She then filled it in with the organs of the human body in an act as patient
A musical tribute to maps
A sequence of sounds, rhythms, melodies and silences: music is a most primitive art, the most essential, and the most powerful of all languages. Its capacity is not limited to the (hardly trivial)
The enchantment of 17th-century optics
The sense of sight is perhaps one the imagination’s most prolific masters. That is why humankind has been fascinated and bewitched by optics and their possibilities for centuries. Like the heart, the
Would you found your own micro-nation? These eccentric examples show how easy it can be
Founding a country is, in some ways, a simple task. It is enough to manifest its existence and the motives for creating a new political entity. At least that is what has been demonstrated by the
Wondrous crossings: the galaxy caves of New Zealand
Often, the most extraordinary phenomena are “jealous of themselves” ––and they happen where the human eye cannot enjoy them. However, they can be discovered, and when we do find them we experience a
Think you have strange reading habits? Wait until you've seen how Mcluhan reads
We often forget or neglect to think about the infinite circumstances that are condensed in the acts that we consider habitual. Using a fork to eat, for example, or walking down the street and being
The sky is calling us, a love letter to the cosmos (video)
We once dreamt of open sails and Open seas We once dreamt of new frontiers and New lands Are we still a brave people? We must not forget that the very stars we see nowadays are the same stars and
The sister you always wanted (but made into a crystal chandelier)
Lucas Maassen always wanted to have a sister. And after 36 years he finally procured one, except, as strange as it may sound, in the shape of a chandelier. Maassen, a Dutch designer, asked the