‘Aeriform’ examines the nature and anatomy of air and the idea of airborne materiality and lightness, creating negative and positive space with shadow and light.
Van Herpen also drew inspiration from the Danish underwater artists Between Music who challenge the relationship between the body and its elemental surround, in a subaquatic environment where air is absent.
“Their liquid voices and the subsonic darkness from Between Music overwhelmed me. It motivated me to dive into the contrasts between water and air, between inside and outside, between darkness and lightness.”
Between Music have collaborated with deep sea divers, physicists and neuroscientists over many years to develop a hypnotic biophonic sound sculpture which they perform on custom-built instruments while submerged in water. Their work transcends and transforms the conventional and natural relationship between our bodies and the elements.
“I’m doubly fascinated: I feel so free in the water – and at the same time I feel a slight hint of terror. Water is a fantastically exciting element because of its dual nature.”
Leila Skovmand, Between Music
Air and water are the structural and visual components of the eighteen elaborate silhouettes of the collection and have influenced the development of both the textiles and garment construction, which is reflected in their volumes, rippling patterning and translucent layering.
Biomorphic structures include a feathery-light metal lace of geodesic floral patterns in collaboration with Philip Beesley, which float around the body like a silver cloud. Echo waves of mylar bonded cotton ripple across the skin mapping the surface of the body and painting its contours.
The shoes are made from a soft suede with a parametric welded metal heel, creating a delicate molecular lattice around the foot.