As Haute Couture week goes digital for the first time, Dutch Designer Iris Van Herpen has responded with her singular Transmotion Dress and accompanying Film. Recognized for her inventive approach to design which largely utilizes digital methods including 3D printing and laser cutting, it seems the designer is already immersed in the Digital world.
It is safe to say that Van Herpen has produced some artistically driven masterpieces and for Autumn/Winter 2020 we are not let down, despite there being only one dress to admire. Enveloped with conceptual meaning, Transmotion is a true work of art that stands alone.
Van Herpen’s work has that timeless quality with its strong inspiration from nature. Poetically capturing new beginnings, the brand’s site depicts the dress as having “seed – like crystals” and “black branches”. Delicately hand-stitched to the centre of the dress, its intricate linework of branches weaves an organic language of life. Embellished seeds of black Swarovski crystals flourish into pure layers of pleated silk organza. Encasing the upper body, we are reminded of the uncontrollable nature of growth and its relationship to movement and change.
In an interview with Vogue, Van Herpen delves deeper into the meaning of the anatomical design stating how the “core and the beadwork [represent] growth, [which itself contains the idea] of strong, feminine empowerment”. She also shares the reason she chose Game of Thrones star, Carice Van Houten to feature in the film, describing how she was inspired by the “dichotomy between strength and fragility [that is] very prominent in her acting, and it corresponded well with what [she] had in mind”.
Through the juxtaposition of strong black detailing against the fragility of sheer and freeing silk, we can see why Carice Van Houten was the perfect fit. The Transmotion Film captures these details beautifully, with the actress moving delicately amongst beams of light. She is controlled in her movement. There is a sense of strength and stillness.
Iris Van Herpen, Official Youtube Channel
The symmetrical nature of Transmotion is enchanting. Taking inspiration from the work of M. C. Escher, a Dutch artist who challenged the way we perceive, Van Herpen’s Transmotion attracts a double-take. Captivating with detail from every angle, the dress is essentially the same from front to back and top to bottom. In the accompanying Film, altered perception is drawn upon further. Glass panels obscure the natural landscape and Carice Van Houten is illusively doubled against mirrors. Van Herpen’s site shares how this idea of perception has been important “amidst an era when polarising ideologies are heightened”.
Amidst layers of silk organza, we can find a complex array of meaning. Transmotion is a piece of wearable art and a stunning encapsulation of important themes that we hope to see expand into a larger collection. We hope you will join us in celebrating the talent of Iris Van Herpen as both an Artist and Fashion Designer.
Words by Brooke Savino
Graphics by Latisha Fleckenstein