Iris Van Herpen Turns To Greek Mythology For Her AW22 Couture Collection
While she drew inspiration from ancient stories, van Herpen still looks to the future.
Designers often dip into the past and traverse the future. However, perhaps no artist fuses time, in pleats and angles that neglect gravity, more effortlessy than Iris van Herpen. The Dutch designer’s AW22 Couture collection (which coincided with the brand’s 15th anniversary) used biodegradable materials to animate ancient Greek myths. In an interview with British Vogue, van Herpen explained that the “Meta Morphism” collection’s materials are “very future-oriented” but have a “natural twist.” Some of these substances include algae, cocoa bean shells and banana leaves.
While the sustainable textiles point to a future aimed at reducing waste, the inspiration behind the designs stem from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Diving through the ancient narrative poem, van Herpen retrieved the myths of Arachne, Narcissus and Daphne and Apollo to create patterns of the earth itself. Van Herpen explained to BritishVogue that the “metamorphosis of identity” is “such a timeless topic: the questions of existence and of who we are beyond our physical bodies.”
Casey Curran’s statue of Daphne grounds the runway; the skeleton tilts her head back as golden wires spill past her ribs and feather-like fragments line her chest. Some models wore Arachne designs, gowns with lace confined in a web’s curves. The Iris van Herpen Instagram account (@irisvanherpen) described the Narcissus design as floating through “translucent layering and reflective textures” that signal the “greater message of introspection.”
As for the makeup, artist Chiao Li Hsu layered silver petals around models’ eyes and brow bones. On her Instagram (@chiaolihsu), she described the models as “creatures from a celestial lagoon.”
To view more of the Meta Morphism collection, visit the van Herpen website here.