Iris van Herpen: Hypnosis
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
January 21, 2019
HYPNOSIS – For this collection, the designer found inspiration in the hypnotic manifolds within our ecologies through the work of American artist Anthony Howe. The three-dimensional cyclical harmony of Howe’s kinetic sculptures is the wind beneath the wings of this collection. Howe’s spherical “Omniverse” sculpture explores our relationship with nature and intertwines with infinite expansion and contraction, expressing a universal life cycle. The meditative movement of the “Omniverse” serves as a portal for the collection and the models, encircling a state of hypnosis.
The collaboration with Howe evolves “in an ecstasy of attentiveness” through the symbiosis of all the elements of nature that are dependent on each other. As one of the key pieces of the collection, the finale “Infinity” dress comes alive on the breath of a finely balanced mechanism. An engineered skeleton of aluminium, stainless steel and bearings is embroidered with a delicate layering of feathers in cyclical flight; revolving around their own centre. “Hypnosis” reflects the beauty and complexity of our environment, exploring the patterns and structures within its fragile landscape.
“The ‘Hypnosis” collection is a hypnotic visualisation of nature‘s tapestry, the symbiotic cycles of our biosphere that interweave the air, land, and oceans. It also reflects the ongoing dissection of the rhythms of life and resonates with the fragility within these interwoven worlds.” – Iris van Herpen
The “Hypnosis” collection consists of 19 silhouettes that flow deceptively in transparencies. Multilayered around the body, they revive the ancient silk moiré weaving technique that links to the illusory nature of human perception. The “Epicycle” looks are constructed by multi-layering luminous organza spheres, which challenge the relationship between surface and substance through illusory patterns that wrap into each other infinitely. The “Suminagashi” garments which reflect the venerable art of Japanese floating ink on water, are lasercut into liquid lines of dyed silk, heat bonded onto transparent tulle to seemingly and seamlessly flow over the skin.
The “Dichotomy” looks are laser- printed, heat-bonded and lasercut into contra-positive waves. Each dissected curve is then pressed onto hundreds of ripple-like panels that ebb and flow in an exquisite swell of meticulously hand stitched silk organza. The ‘Hypnosis’ technique, developed in collaboration with Professor Phillip Beesley involves ten of thousands of plottercut mini ripples that continuously dissect the dress through each movement of the body, revealing skin in between the whimsical spheroid patterns. The printed duchesse-satin is plottercut into thousands of 0.8 mm exquisite waves that each are interlinked, designed to move faster than the eye can follow.