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  • Iris Van Herpen “Biopiracy” collection

  • Iris Van Herpen “Biopiracy” collection

  • Installation by artist Lawrence Malstaf

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Iris Van Herpen collaborates with artist Lawrence Malstaf for her “Biopiracy” collection

Iris Van Herpen presented during Paris Fashion Week her latest collection of ready-to-wear and couture pieces, entitled “Biopiracy”, which explored the idea of the self-conquest that begins with the conquest of the body. “In the recent past, patents on our genes have been purchased. Are we still the sole proprietor of our bodies?” asks Van Herpen, with the collection being an answer to the “state of arrested freedom one might have in his most intimate, solitary state.” Blending the artisanal and the technical, Van Herpen experimented with new fabrics, mixing plastic and silk or using artificial fire opal beads, gleaming through embroidery. The designer also collaborated with artist Lawrence Malstaf, who specializes in “the interaction between biology and physicality”, for a series of installations that depicted models floating inside giant plastic bags in an embryonic state, seemingly weightless and in a meditative suspended animation. The human installations merged the visual and the theatrical in an impressive way and really stole the spotlight.

What’s more, Van Herpen worked with Canadian architect Julia Koerner for the creation of a 3-D-printed kinetic dress that amplified bodily movement, creating a voluminous, organic effect. Sculptural platform shoes, in collaboration with United Nude, put the final touch to a breath-taking show that combined biology with the digital world, with some groundbreaking results. “Technology for me is not like a source of inspiration, it’s a tool to help you transform your techniques,” said Van Herpen in an interview with Crane.tv. “So, it really depends what you do with that tool. For example, if I were to 3D print my entire ready-to-wear, maybe people could illegally download all the files. You never know, it would become a vague area.” If the future is now, then Iris Van Herpen is definitely living her moment!