Recently, my craving for the macabre has lead me to seeking out skeletal inspired fashion. Whilst items as such were very common back in October, with Topshop selling skeleton print dresses, leggings and tops in honour of Halloween, when I began to look for some bone printed pieces they were few and far between. From scouring Depop, Ebay and Etsy, I came across a few bits, that are now on my wish list, however thanks to a quick Tumblr search, I came across the above Chanel editorial featuring Milla Jovovich in an Iris Van Herpen skeleton body. Intrigued by the intense detail and anatomical correctness of the piece, I decided to look further into her work.
Iris Van Herpen is a a Dutch fashion designer who uses revolutionary techniques to combine unique craftsmanship with contemporary mediums to create 3D pieces of artwork that can be worn. An editorial favourite, her pieces are Haute Couture with a modern edge. Unlike the Haute Couture of the past, that prides itself on hand crafted, one of a kind pieces, Iris Van Herpen uses digital technology to work with new materials and create intricate pieces that would, without CAD CAM, previously be impossible.
Another reason Iris Van Herpen's pieces interested me is her focus on nature within art and fashion. Aside from the previously mentioned skeleton dress, which is an obvious reference to nature, the above editorial features the 'waterfall dress' modelled by another fashion favourite of mine, Daphne Guinness. I love how this dress looks exactly like a snapshot of water falling off the model. Her ability to capture movement in a stationary object is fascinating. The skilful nature of Iris Van Herpen's work is so fantastic, and I love way she has made Haute Couture modern.
Of her work, fashion and art, Iris says:
'I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting. In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commercial tool.'
This embodies the reason that I write about, study and work in fashion. Whilst many do not see the cultural, economical and artistic value of fashion, I can appreciate that it not only reflects ones status in society, but also is used as a means of expressing ones opinions, be it political, creative or personal.