Iris Van Herpen is the first digital couturier, embracing technology and playing with the tension of adding the mechanical, the technological to the ever-so romantic art of high fashion.
In a huge circular salon at the Paris Intercontinental, a stone's throw from the Opéra Garnier, the Dutch designer was inspired by her childhood dream to create and control lightning. We were treated to a performance of exactly that by a moving statue on a podium, setting the ambience for the pulsating beat of the show.
Van Herpen, interviewed in the February issue of Dazed, deals with science and biology to create her powerful world. She's the first couturier to employ 3D printing in a collection, with the latest multi-material technology contracting a skirt and cape that's both hard and soft in a single build, drawing on the multidimensionalism that human petit mains offer.
With such fantastic aspiration, Van Herpen is aware of the need to give her work a more tangible context. The clue to that was in the seating and exit music, by Grimes, who is also the face of the designer's new ready-to-wear campaign. In Clare Boucher she's found a pop muse to carry it off.