Neither tradition nor the global health crisis can stop progress, as evidenced, for example, by the rapid invention of a number of coronavirus vaccines. In the fashion industry, Iris van Erpen has been responsible for this for many years, constantly pushing the boundaries of the possible in her collections.
Couture is exclusive and unique. And the point is not only that each design is customized for a specific client, but also that this mod is created by hand from the best materials, which guarantees that there are no two identical options. Usually van Erpen creates his one-off pieces using 3D printing, but this time the designer showed that she can achieve uniqueness without the help of technology.
In the spring, the Dutch couturier, in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans, began producing Ocean Plastic fabric from recycled marine waste, which she believes is of high quality. “Of course, [haute couture] customers expect the highest quality, so you don't want them to be sustainable if it lowers the quality … Now we live in a moment when the quality [of organic silk and recycled polyester] is exactly the same … Now it really is a question of [conscious] choice, not quality choice. In fact, there is no particular reason not to use environmentally friendly materials anymore,”said van Erpen.
At the same time, the designer noted that she was inspired to create new images by Merlin Sheldrake's book "Confused Life" about how mushrooms support life on Earth. The folds on the models resemble the bottom of a mushroom cap, and the lace is mycelium, which forms an underground communication system. This idea especially touched van Erpen, it says that 2020 was marked by isolation and separation: "And, of course, it is really beautiful to look at nature and how nature interacts in a very similar way to how we communicate."
The designer had to put in a lot of effort to combine fashion with science, and nature with technology. The result is a collection that marks a turning point in Van Erpen's career and reveals another aspect of her amazing talent.