October 21, 2020
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Iris Van Herpen Couture Fall 2017

“Can I have a blackout please?” shouted a female voice in the dark, addressing the showgoers basking in the glow of their smartphones. Iris Van Herpen’s 10th anniversary show would not start until the audience was fully present for the experience about to unfold.
What gradually emerged from the gloom was stranger than anyone could have predicted: four large water tanks, each containing a musician. The members of Danish underwater group Between Music provided the eerie soundtrack to the show, which fittingly had an aquatic theme.
“It was definitely about finding lightness but within the darkness. I mean, the installation and the musicians for me represent a beautiful darkness as well, so I’ve tried to create both. But the base was air and water, so it has been very much about fluidity,” the designer said backstage.
Van Herpen used avant-garde techniques to create rippling white patterns on transparent tulle gowns, or pleated moiré-patterned organza into a short dress with undulating ruffles. Silver lace was laser-cut into tiny slivers to create three-dimensional wave patterns that mimicked the shimmering surface of water.
This airy touch extended to her more experimental creations, such as cloudlike dresses made from a feather-light metal lace cut into three-dimensional floral patterns. Best

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