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Iris Van Herpen ‘Roots of Rebirth’ – a quick write up


Iris van Herpen ~ Roots of Rebirth Preview

For me nothing comes close to the feeling of wonder I get from Iris’ designs and it’s so interesting (and satisfying) to read her inspiration and see so many threads that connect to the themes and concepts that I’ve recently been learning about. Here she cites mycelium and the Wood Wide Web as influences to this collection – I can really feel the connection between earthly and otherworldly vibes pulsing through every piece!

It’s so inspiring to see these themes explored so thoroughly on an international stage and it seems to me that one of the threads that we as humanity will take from this ‘lockdown’ period will be an increased awareness of the connections, physical and digital, that underly everything we do, interact with and grow from.

The clothes feel like an imaginary exoskeleton – wavering between being an extension of our skin, an embellishment; to being an entirely new addition – an imagined body part that fulfils a function we don’t yet have, uses a sense we haven’t yet developed. We are wearing clothes as a protective shell but what do we want to protect and what do we want to share, what do we want to amplify, and what do we want to create about ourselves?

The textiles open and close as though sending a signal we generate unconsciously as we move – what are we communicating by just being, and how can our clothes as well as our bodies reflect and amplify this?

We come from the earth and we grow from the earth, but we have also made an otherworldly environment and synthesised what was once an entirely natural process – natural processes that we are only now coming to understand. We are still exploring this world of mycelium and how it can both conceptually and physically help create new nature, a semi-synthesised, curated and controlled nature – a future where we work with and cultivate the systems of our environment rather than fighting against it, forcing our values and methods to work in a world they weren’t designed by.

Some notes I made while watching this preview highlight the colours of red, sky blue, earthly and skin tones really capturing a tangible and natural feel with an almost futuristic luxury, – while the blue and it’s scarcity in nature help contribute to the ‘fantasy’ feel. We curate, create and share nature already with the choices we make and the colours and materials we use – do we hold some parts of nature to a higher value? Are some more ordinary and overlooked? Why have we not discovered the connections below ground when we are so driven to explore our visible and invisible world? Is what is hidden unimportant, or just undiscovered – its potential waiting to be released.

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