Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture @ The 2021 Met Gala

Posted by Catherine Kallon Comments
Gabrielle Union in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

Iris Van Herpen was represented at the Costume Institute Gala that celebrated the opening of the exhibition ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday (September 13) in New York with an additional five attendees who joined Grimes.

For some, this may have come five years too late, as Iris Van Herpen’s Haute Couture pieces would’ve been perfect for the 2016 Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology Met Gala, but we’re not going to let that ruin our enjoyment of these spectacular red carpet looks.

I’m going to feature these in order of how many man hours it took to create.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Gabrielle Union’s took the longest to make at over 1,400 hours.

Inspired by actress’ activist life, Iris van Herpen created the ‘Aeternus’ gown especially for the actress.

It is composed of over 10,000 translucent white spheres, layered in size gradients with a fine silver reflective outline.

The innumerous spheres were individually handstitched to create a seamless and multi-level optical illusion from which three-dimensional waves flare out weightlessly.

A true work of art.  This needs to be placed in a museum.

At first I wasn’t keen on the necklace, but on reflection it does add to the mystic of the look.

Jimmy Choo ‘Pattie’ sandals and Messika High Jewelry provide the finishing touch.

Iris Van Herpen Fall 2021 Haute Couture
Winnie Harlow in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

Over 800 hours were needed to create Winnie Harlow’s ‘Aerology’ jumpsuit dress.

Pearlescent liquid silicone were laser-cut creating vivid meteorological labyrinths, whirling onto the draped, transparent black organza mantle.

This is such a graceful silhouette even though this feels like a whirlwind or a tornado.

Jacob & Co natural diamonds completed her look.

Iris Van Herpen Fall 2021 Haute Couture
Tessa Thompson in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

Tessa Thompson’s ‘Inside A Second’ Fall 2018 Haute Couture dress took over 750 hours to create.

Chronophotographic lines inspired by bird wing movements were laser-cut from mylar and black cotton, to then be heat-bonded to over 200 layers of two-toned dyed red organza, to flow like a timelapse motion.

In juxtaposition to those organic and fluid organza layers, vertical, straight lines were draped and stitched by hand onto a nude illusion tulle base to complete the design, following seamlessly the body.

With such a stunning creation, I didn’t like how the American theme was forced onto this look with the Stetson hat and western boots.

Iris Van Herpen Fall 2018 Haute Couture
Hailee Steinfeld in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

Hailee Steinfeld was the most unrecognisable at this event having opted for a platinum blonde wig and matching eyebrows, which worked perfectly with her Fall 2021 Haute Couture ‘Magnetosphere’ dress which took over 640 hours to create.

In collaboration with artist Rogan Brown, a myriad of delicate relief sculptures made from the accretion of multiple hand and laser-cut layers of delicately dissected Parley Ocean Plastic® materials are individually hand-stitched to fluidly encircle the bodice, mirroring the organic circle of life.

The meticulous detailing goes beyond the eye’s perception, where fabric is torn and layered in multiple directions simultaneously through powerful force, mirroring the fabric’s evolution from plant, to weave, to plant again.

The Parley panels have been designed, using Parley Ocean Plastic®, sourced from upcycled marine debris in collaboration with Parley for the Oceans.

This was giving me mid shape-shifting Mystique from the ‘X-Men’ vibes.

Iris Van Herpen Fall 2021 Haute Couture
Valentina Sampaio in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

Brazilian model and actress Valentina Sampaio was chosen to wear the ‘Rootscapes’ Spring 2021 Haute Couture gown.

Metallic mahogany crêpe-de-chine were hand-pleated into hundreds of stretchable parametric diamond shapes, twisting down the bodice symmetrically like a coppery liquid, unfolding into a half-wheel ‘harmonica’ plissé drapery.

Valentina Sampaio in Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture - 2021 Met  Gala

In terms of being “on theme” Valentina nailed it by portraying an American Eagle in flight.

This dress took over 350 hours to create.

Iris Van Herpen Spring 2021 Haute Couture

Nature conservation has always been an important cause close to van Herpen’s heart.

Consequently, the designer has decided to auction the custom creations of the ‘Bene Gesserit Gown’ as well as the ‘Aeternus Gown’, worn by Grimes and Gabrielle Union, with Sotheby’s this November.

Proceeds will be fully donated to the Amazon Conservation Association and The Rainforest Trust foundation.

Credit: & Getty

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