Iris van Herpen is a designer who has been quietly building a reputation for her extreme and intricate creations. Eschewing commercial practicality and rack appeal in favour of impact and drama, February saw her bring a new collection to the catwalk during LFW.
Entitled ‘Synesthesia’, the collection was inspired by the rather abstract notion of a transmutation of the senses; hearing colour or seeing sound.
Architectural and spectacular, the intricate leatherwork for which Iris van Herpen has developed a reputation was at the centre of this collection. The AW10 collection uses leather in the most unexpected shades – nude flesh to almost pewter metallics- and all of it worked into the most astounding forms through her leathercraft in which the traditional artisanal is continually reinvented. From precisely slashed swathes of two-toned leather under billowing chiffon to gnarled roses twisted and built into the sides of skirts and dresses, each piece is an ode to relentless work.
Also of note in her presentation were the stunning shoes. A collaboration with United Nude, these exotic and almost mutant forms are made from a two-coloured leather in which the carefully executed slashes allow a stunning gold accent to penetrate the opaque black of the outer leather.
Similarities of sensibility between Dutch Iris Van Herpen and Alexander McQueen –under whom she worked for a period- have already been noted and she is currently showing all of the signs of taking her fashion in an equally uncompromising direction.