Iris van Herpen’s ‘Crystallization’ Collection for Spring / Summer 2011 is definitely a feminine, sensual and ultra-glamorous addition to a woman’s wardrobe. Surprising though, the most intriguing quality of the collection is not its undoubted exquisite design. Crystallisation is the conclusion of a highly conceptual and technologically innovative design research process.
In Crystallisation, Iris van Harpen captures the transformation of water from liquid to crystal. Water, in its liquid transparent state, is fluid, formless and evasive. Its rippled geometry is random – chaotic, yet intriguing, sensual or even ‘magical’ – fairies of the water. On the other hand, the crystal is a well defined and structured solid entity. The juxtaposition and correlation of opposites – liquid and crystallised – fluid and structured – myth and ratio, and the moment of transcendence from one state to the other is the source of inspiration for Iris van Harpen:
‘I am fascinated by the fact that there are secret lines hidden in totally transparent and liquid material. Life appears at the moment of freezing, when crystals form. Only then becomes the underlying symmetry and structure visible.’
Iris van Herpen’s research on fluid forms is concurrent and correlated to similar approaches in architecture and product design and effortlessly led to collaboration with Benthem Crouwel Architects for the Architectural Centre of Amsterdam, where she designed a dress sculptured like flowing water.
Opposites also coexist in the production of the collection. High valued craftsmanship in the handcrafted elements of the collection is combined with innovative technologies. The iconic centrepiece of the collection is a vest realised via 3d printing, in collaboration with .MGX by Materialise and Daniel Widrig.
Yet, the most impressive about Crystallisation is that all these influences, conceptual explorations and technical experimentations are finally ‘crystallised’ in a beautiful, airy, sensual and somehow alien collection.