Paris Couture Fall 2016: Iris Van Herpen

Fashion, said I this morning, I am feeling socially conscious Is there anything in the couture lines this season that would work for that?

No ma’am, not today, thank you kindly, responds Fashion. All of the couture collections went to Paris to escape the horrors of world events, not to amplify them. How about some nice Iris Van Herpen?

Oh, said I back to fashion. Oh, she’s pretty.


Presented as a runway show that walked though the live zen bowl music accompaniment van Herpen ordered as her soundtrack, the concept behind these pieces came from the study of cymatics, which is the visualization of sound waves as evolving geometric fractal patterns. The result was high art clothing, from head to toe (including the wooden platform shoes), in a high concept piece, and a meditative like experience for the audience, in a month where perhaps that sort of deep relaxation is what we really need.

We’ve posted the full collection below–it’s certainly small enough, with only twelve pieces, each as exquisitely crafted as the next. Each have that feel of nature, while also  feeling uniquely alien, as sounds are both something we feel in our bones, yet never see made flesh. But we do also suggest watching the video of the presentation to get the zen feel of van Herpen’s vision, and the performance of Japanese musician Kazuya Nagaya. And perhaps it too can bring you a little bit of peace on a week that feels like the bad news only gets worse every day.

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