“When I design, the draping process most of the time happens to me unconsciously. I see lucid dreams as a microscope with which I can look into my unconsciousness. In this collection, I have tried to bring my state of ‘reality’ and my state of dreaming, together,” notes the designer.
Both the models and the audience are mirrored as one in the show space, creating a close- up and intimate experience that is amplified by seventeen large optical light screens (OLF). Depending on the viewing angle, movement and proximity to the sheets, the perception of the audience that view the models is continuously shifted and deluded to reflect the fine line between reality and unreality. The visual alienation of the OLF was influential to van Herpen her design process.
There are 2 main design techniques presented in the collection: the lucid looks and the phantom dresses. The lucid looks result from the designer’s continuous collaboration with the artist and architect Philip Beesley. These looks are made from transparent hexagonal laser-cut elements that are connected with translucent flexible tubes, creating a glistering bubble-like exoskeleton around the wearer’s body. The phantom looks are made with a super light tulle to which iridescent stripes are fused, shimmering the silhouette illusory.
Continuing van Herpen’s vigor of fusing technology with handcraft, the collection features two 3D printed Magma dresses that are combining flexible TPU printing, creating a fine web together with polyamide printing. One of the dresses is stitched from 5,000 3D printed elements.
This season the designer opted for organic, circular, and voluminous silhouettes in light, iridescent colours of nude, green, and grey. The Aero shoes in collaboration with Finsk, are made from wood, laser-cut leather and an ultra-thin transparent acrylic heel that separate the sole and the upper, creating a hovering look.