Iris van Herpen started her career alongside Alexander McQueen, and the spirit of the British designer was present yesterday in her show, everywhere from her biodynamic couture to the eerie set up she created inside the Cirque d’Hiver. Aeriform, as the show was titled, marked the 10 year anniversary of van Herpen’s brand and she made sure to celebrate in a way her guests wouldn’t forget.
And so the five large objects covered in black cloth situated in the middle of a darkened circular room turned out to be tanks filled with water… and musicians playing music. It was the Danish collective Between Music, who specialize in creating underwater music. Their muffled sounds were both mysterious and ghostly and provided the perfect backdrop for van Herpen’s collection. According to the Dutch designer, it was all 'about the idea of airborne materiality and lightness, and creating negative and positive space through shadow and light'. However, one couldn’t help but think of McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis when observing the clothes, which made the models look like strangely compelling sea creatures. The architectural constructions of the garments – many of which included metal filaments forming shapes, pleated and layered organza, and laser-cut moiré – felt more van Herpen than ever, yet were more wearable than most of her collections, kind of like futuristic red carpet gowns. A hint of what Iris van Herpen has in store for us in the upcoming decade?