- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
This week we're delving into the world of high fashion with our couture crush, Iris Van Herpen. This 32 year old designer (yes, she's ridiculously accomplished for such a young age) hails from the Netherlands and made her big fashion debut at Paris fashion week in 2011. She made quite a splash by pushing the boundaries of couture fashion and has continually pushed those boundaries since. Her fashion seems heavily influenced by Alexander McQueen, whom she did an internship with early on in her career. Her pieces are structural and architectural and she has a special talent for unique and complex construction . She incorporates unorthodox production strategies and materials into her collections, such as 3-D printing, which provides the architectural component, but also gives her work a heavy digital influence. This approach often requires interdisciplinary research and collaborations with other artists, and no doubt enables her to constantly push boundaries in the world of haute couture.
"For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related both to me and to my body. I see it as an expression of identity combined with desire, moods and a cultural setting" - Iris Van Herpen
In particular we love the decidedly skeletal pieces she creates. Originally featured in her eight collection, entitled "Escapism", these pieces are an acknowledgment and reaction to our tendency towards escaping from reality by allowing ourselves to be immersed in digital media. Inspired by the ornate baroque style of artist Kris Kuksi, these pieces incorporate thousands of tiny bone-like pieces to create an extraordinary exoskeleton for the wearer. This intricate armor seems impossibly delicate, yet also intimidatingly fierce. Take this piece, for example, which resembles a winged skeleton, or the one below that is an unmistakably skeletal form.
Van Herpen has taken the original form and given it new life through her interpretation. Obviously we don't need to tell you we like bones here at Birds N Bones, but we do want to share that we love incorporating delicate little bones and specimens into our jewelry to give them new shape, new life, and create something beautiful. Take the Morelia Knuckle Ring and Morelia Crescent Necklace with Semi-precious stones, for example. We took the original bone structure and altered it multiple ways to reflect the shape and feel we desired for these two pieces. We gave the original shape a new life though our interpretation. For us, that's what creating art or jewelry or fashion really boils down to. Taking in all the influences, experiences, and objects we encounter on a daily basis and filtering them down to the pieces that matter to us and interpreting them in a way that is aesthetically interesting.