For Spring/Summer 2016, Iris van Herpen was inspired by ‘living architecture’, and more specifically, the tree bridges in India. These trees not only support human life via their symbiotic O2 exchange with our lungs; their roots have created living bridges that happily support and assist human journeys throughout the forests. Van Herpen wanted to create a collection that tangled like a maze around the body. She wanted to use root structures as a way to re-envision her process of making a garment.
The collection opened with tailoring that spoke of the binding strength of tree roots, via jackets and dresses that had punk S&M style strapping constructions. The colour palette of the collection was white, cream and silver, with a solid black section that divided, or bridged, proceedings. Trousers, skirts and obi belted kimonos - it seems it's quite the season for the geisha - were rendered in a crystal clicked web. There were also a whole host of little halter neck tops and dresses spun in the same transparent lace. Elsewhere in the collection, a fine organic lace from Calais was also used, which lent a romantic quality to Van Herpen's technical designs.
Gwendoline Christie played the part of Sleeping Beauty during a dream like catwalk performance, where a mineral landscape created by the artist Jolan van der Wiel wove a dress around her in real time. Continuing to evoke the mythical nature of Indian forests, the final section was made up of tectonic dragonfly laser cuts and ethereal shredded skirts.