Technology is often at the core of Iris van Herpen’s collections. In past seasons, she explored the work of graphic artist M.C. Escher’s mathematically inspired lithographs and the kinetic sculptures of Anthony Howe. For the spring 2021 couture season, however, the Dutch designer looked to the natural world for inspiration.
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In a collection titled Roots of Rebirth, van Herpen surveyed fungi and other organic forms found below and slightly above the earth’s surface. A purple column dress, for example, featured large silver paillettes that resembled a cluster of mushrooms. A flirty satin mullet frock in burnt umber showcased pleats that mirrored tree roots. An ombré mid-length organza dress with billowy shoulders echoed the shape and colours of fungi under a microscope. And a number of gowns highlighted hand-embroideries in the shape of mycelium that then fanned out into her signature tentacles.
For van Herpen, science and fashion go hand in hand. And with this stunning lineup, she visualises the organisms under our feet, the natural beauty that often goes unnoticed, but perhaps should not.
This article first appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US