Iris van Herpen flies high in her new collection

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has always been one to push the envelope and take the fashion world in a new direction, but this year’s Fall 2018 collection takes her artistry to new heights.

Herpen, now recognised as one of fashion’s most forward-thinking creators, launched her latest fashion collection at this year’s Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week and said that birds were the inspiration behind the new pieces. In a collaboration with Studio Drift, the catwalk event featured a stunning installation of moving tubes that took the premiere to the next level.

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A suspended installation included 20 glass tubes, which moved up and down to emulate the motions of a bird on flight. Van Herpen said that the installation was designed to complement and act as an extension to her new pieces and serve as a tribute to humans’ innate desire to fly.

Inspired by birds, Herpen’s Syntopia collection replicates feathers and the soundwave patterns of birds in flight with truly breathtaking results. The 17-piece strong collection combines both organic and unusual forms that fuse biology and manmade technology, with high-tech digital fabrication offering parametric patterns that wow and deviate from the norm in the fashion world.

Since her first fashion outing back in 2007, van Herpen has been a designer passionate about inventing new forms and methods of expression, and regularly combines the most traditional techniques with radical fabrics and materials to mould a unique aesthetic vision, a style she calls New Couture. The designer was hailed as the pioneer of 3D printing and uses cutting-edge techniques to create garments that blend the past and future into truly distinct pieces of art.

Her latest collection, which is now available to buy from her online boutique and from selected retailers around the world, includes dresses and pieces created from liquid-coated silk organza, woollen coats from laser cutting, and acrylic sheets to mimic a feather’s delicate architecture.

Iris van Herpen’s collection is just one in a string of unique and eye-popping campaigns, with last year’s Between the Lines couture collection comprising of hypnotic garments designed to distort model’s bodies through optical illusions and sharp contrasts. The 16-piece set was manufactured from synthetic fabrics that had been folded in three-dimensional shapes. In an interview with Vogue, van Herpen said that her alchemy of light dress was “about the way it moves with the body and how it plays with the eyes”, and said that when she develops shapes and styles for her fashion pieces, “something very close to natural evolution can be seen”.

Iris has certainly made a splash in high couture, but her designs have also leaked into popular culture over the past couple of years. Supermodel Joan Smalls was pictured wearing a dress from Herpen’s latest collection at the Carine Roitfeld party for NYFW Harpers Bazaar just a couple of months, whilst Lady Gaga is also a fan, choosing to wear Herpen’s Syntopia dress during an appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote A Star is Born, and her Mimesis dress on posters to promote her upcoming Las Vegas residency, Engima.

Learn more about Iris van Herpen and her latest collection at

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