StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen Capriole Haute Couture 3

Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen Capriole Haute Couture 6

Iris Van Herpen

Sometimes, Blog Reader, I play the ‘if-I-were-a-supermodel-game’ of choosing which designers I should like to wear should I have my pick of the catwalks.  In this fantasy I am usually dressed in Iris Van Herpen, designer of haute couture, an astonishing combination of fine handwork techniques and futuristic technology.  Vogue said of Van Herpen, ‘If Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen ever had a love child it would probably produce someone like Iris van Herpen.  The 27 year old designer from the Netherlands has a flare for the dramatic and a sculpture’s eye for design’.  Often collaborating with artists and scientists in the creation of her garments, this 2011 collection ‘Capriole‘ (Van Herpen’s debut in Paris as a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture) is one of my favourites.

From her website:

“Iris van Herpen made her debut in Paris as member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture with this collection. Besides being a compilation of highlights from previous collections, this new collection also presented five striking outfits that evoke the feeling just before and during a free-fall parachute jump. A ‘leap in the air’ (the meaning of the French word Capriole) that Van Herpen once in a while takes to reset her body and mind. The five outfits are a reflection of the extreme feelings experienced during that jump. For instance, the dress consisting of serpentine forms made of black acrylic sheets, nicknamed the ‘snake dress’, evokes the mental state at the moment before the jump when, as Van Herpen explains, ‘all my energy is in my head and I feel as though my mind is snaking through thousands of bends  For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to me and to my body.  I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting’.”

Like another designer I admire, Liz Black, Van Herpen focusses on the theme of the female body.  Her pieces express the character and emotions of a woman and extend the shape of the feminine body in detail.

“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. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly have an added value to the world, that it is timeless and that its consumption can be less important than its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.”

Of course there is the question of how Van Herpen’s designers translate into functional pieces for the modern woman’s wardrobe.  But as fantasy and inspiration goes, my supermodel status dreams have me on the Van Herpen catwalk.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Liz Black “Superheroine Chic”

Clearly last week’s post featuring Wonder Woman has a lot to answer for, Blog Reader.  Liz Black, whose collection Concentric Circles caught my eye last year for its elegant, minimalist aesthetic and emphasis on structural shapes has come out guns blazing this autumn winter 2012.  Her sensational collection named ’Superheroine Chic‘, inspired by the female empowerment of superheroines, features powerful silhouettes and striking, armour-like shapes.

Commanding, electric dresses in black, sunglow yellow and cool space-age print sit alongside classic pencil and A line skirts and high, round neck jackets and coats.

“The dynamic shapes coupled with subtle structure accentuate the female form and impound the sense of bold, daring, assured femininity associated with the Liz Black woman.” ~ Liz Black

Below are some of my favourites from this collection.  I adore the black jacket with leather ‘armour’ (below left) and the space-age suit (below, middle).  The colours of the tunic / pant outfit (bottom right) invigorate an otherwise neutral but nonetheless powerful range.

I’d say you could be a modern day Woman Woman in Liz Black’s new collection, what say you, Blog Reader?

For more information on Liz Black click here to view her website.

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: London Fashion Weekend

Neatly positioned at the rear of London Fashion Week is London Fashion Weekend.  With just a little time to recover from the new and forthcoming collections, London Fashion Weekend is an opportunity to get your fix of well established and emerging British designers by shopping the labels under one roof.  Throw in a little catwalk show of the major trends for spring and it’s the perfect fashion fix!

During my trip home to the UK I met the lovely Anna (pic below) from South Molton Street Style at the event.  Anna’s blog is a great round up of British designers both high street and other and it’s often the place I visit when I’m feeling a bit out of the loop with British fashion.  Anna and I talked about it being a great time to “be British” and I’ve been pondering this ever since.  What do you think? We felt that somewhere in between the Royal wedding and Stella McCartney‘s special London Fashion Week presentation things got kinda cool again for us Brits.

I love the emerging talent that abounds in London fashion design – London Fashion Weekend showcases some of my favourite innovators: Liz Black, Jaegar and By Malene Birger really stand out for me.

I’d recommend heading to London Fashion Weekend if you should find yourself in London for fashion week.

And what is a fashion blogger to do after a spot of shopping? Head to The Savoy down the road from Somerset House (the home of London Fashion Week and Weekend) for tea and biscuits.  Which, Blog Reader, is exactly what we did.

Wearing: blue legging jeans from GAP; Heels from Nine West; Clutch from the Etsy shop of Taylor in Curly In The City; Klara asymmetric button down from Anthropologie; jacket from River Island.  Sunglasses, TopShop.