Haute Couture Glamour: Iris Van Herpen

Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen has created a dress using thousands of hand-blown glass balls for her haute-couture collection, shown in Paris this week.

The glass dress was a standout piece from Van Herpen’s Seijaku collection, presented in L’Oratoire du Louvre church for Autumn Winter 2016.

To create the garment, the designer coated thousands of glass balls with transparent silicone. The silicone enabled the bubbles to stick together in a solid structure, forming a “bioluminescent prism around the body”.

The bubble-like balls were arranged into a high-necked, sleeveless bodice and extended out from the waist into a skirt.




Other garments in the collection were based on the shapes found in cymatics – a vibrational phenomena caused by sound waves that can be seen across fluid surfaces.

“In cymatics, the higher the frequency of the sound wave, the more complex the visible patterns,” said van Herpen’s show notes.

“The collection reflects circular shapes and geometric patterns that are common in cymatics, which serve as the base for the collection’s biomorphic forms.”

To replicate these features, van Herpen stitched pearl-coated rubber fabric onto black tulle, creating layers that looked like fossil shapes.

Striped patterns on hand-pleated transparent organza were designed to produce a moiré effect.

Another dress was influenced by the work of Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, who creates animal forms out of glass bubbles and large-scale installations using foam.

Borrowing his technique, the designer integrated thousands of droplet-shaped crystals into a long silicone dress so they appear to be dripping down the body.

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