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Iris van Herpen: 'Fashion is like dance'

Iris van Herpen: 'Fashion is like dance'

Iris van Herpen fused her passion for dance with style when she began her fashion career.

The Dutch designer is a Paris Fashion Week staple, with her futuristic collections always taking centre stage. Iris didn’t always dream of a career making clothes, and had initially wanted to be a ballerina. But after studying at the Netherland’s ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, she soon found her true calling.

“I knew I could combine my vision in fashion best,” she told “It’s a way where I could be able to work with the body like I used to with dance and to still be thinking about the transformation of that body and the movement but in a more material (way).

“(Dance) is only there when you do it. And what I really like about working with fashion is that I can create something for someone that is still there when I’m not there. That I can sort of create this dialogue with the body.”

Her Autumn/Winter 16 collection, shown in March (16), was full of galactic themes, including futuristic bubble dresses and 3D printed clothes in a colour palette of iridescent nudes, greens and grey. The line was an attempt to bring Iris’ “state of reality and my state of dreaming together”.

The designer starts her process not with an idea or concept, but rather the materials she’ll be using. It’s not the conventional way to work, and she refrains from defining the clothes until much later on in the design stage. Iris also avoids sketching her garments as she wants to maintain her freedom.

“It gives me a very free way of giving my own interpretation to them,” she explained.

At the recent Met Gala, Chinese model Liu Wen wore a stunning mesh-like dress by the label, nailing the Manus x Machina theme.

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