Iris van Herpen ~ Meta Morphism
At Paris Haute Couture Week 2022, Iris van Herpen celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the Maison with ‘Meta Morphism’. Holding a lens to our intangible identities and shifting society with the metaverse and hyperreality at the horizon, this collection explores the depths of the body in posthuman realities. With the new realms of our digital lives expanding, we are faced with an eternally rhetorical question: who are we beyond our physical bodies? Is the digital you shaping your pre-existing com- pass? Through 'Meta Morphism’, Van Herpen expresses the body as an elusive system, rooted in transcience and speaks to a greater message of introspection. The leitmotif of van Herpen’s history expresses the body in a state of permanent flux, metamorphosing with the milieu, and while the Maison is regarded for its futuristic approach, this season the designer reflects on Ovid's magnus opus poem ‘Metamorphoses’. At the time of Ovid’s writing, the act of metamorphosis was appreciated in relation to humanity and its place amongst nature, yet Ovid’s retelling exists a relevance today, navigating the ramifications of technology that is constantly complicating the definition of identity. With the ability to recreate our digi- tal twins, the space of soul-searching, losing a sense of self, and finding new realities, are life lessons. The collection examines the ancient visions of Ovid’s mythology through modern themes of transhumanism, where man and technology ex- ist in eternal fluctuation, thus defying classification, allowing us to question the limits of our self. Resounding the thematic tensions between artifice and nature, the collection is built around three myths, the story of Arachne; the story of Narcissus and finally the story of Daphne and Apollo. The tragedy of Arachne is translated in fine laces that are gradient dyed and trapped in embroidered webs, causing the trapped spiderwebs to float. Other looks are designed as if Arachne is still weaving them, hundreds of unspun threads float and spin around the body. The second myth behind the collection evinces the story of Narcissus, who falls in love with his own reflection, slowly languishing to death through self-obsession. The translucent layering and reflective textures of growth in this collection speak to a greater message of introspection. Transparent voluminous drapes echo around the body like ghosts, creating patchworks of shadows, designed to turn inwards on ourselves. Accents of dark blues and amethysts, ochres, metallic silvers and copper intersect the lucid palette. The ‘Narcissus’ gown and coat express the power of self-creation and the contradiction of how self-obsession can ultimatrly cause loos- ing your sense of self. The allusion to Daphne and Apollo is betokened through the finale look, embodying the very moment that Daphne transforms into a laurel tree, while the 'Glitched Growth' dress and other looks mimic the alternate stages of Daphne’s metamorphoses, diffusing the creation of plant and bone structures growing together. These looks are designed around body objectification and imagine future metaverse hybrids of Daphne’s myth in which the body is boundlessly transformed and where man and nature are indistinguishable. In keeping with the Maison’s collaborative spirit, this season, Iris van Herpen partners with sculptor Casey Curran, bequething a prospective statue of a future Daphne, bursting from the centre of the runway. Daphne’s sculpture transforms through herbose creatures blooming from her skeleton, at her chest appears a large crevice, revealing her mechanical heart pulsating inside, pertaining to the notion that the elusiveness of identity means that nothing can perish. Videography: 4eyes, Dammes Kieft Press Release: Scarlett Baker Show production: Eyesight | Popkraft Light design: Thierry Dreyfus | Eyesight Choreography: Diek Pothoven Sound Director: Salvador Breed Sound Composition: Johnny Paradiso Harpist: Hannah Koegler Face Jewellery: Benas Staskauskas Head Pieces: Lance Victor Moore
Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer known for fusing technology with traditional haute couture craftsmanship. Van Herpen opened her own label Iris van Herpen in 2007.
A New York City native, Patti Wilson, is a fashion stylist best known for her instinctive, provocative and visionary style. She is one of the most celebrated and respected stylists today, and is Fashion Editor-at-Large for Vogue Italia. She always has sparked her creativity by using vivid imagery and raw sexuality.