For “Seijaku”, Iris van Herpen explores the study of cymatics, which visualizes sound waves as evolving geometric patterns. In cymatics, the higher the frequency of the sound wave, the more complex the visible patterns. To provide a seamless experience between the show and its concept, Van Herpen collaborated with the Japanese musician Kazuya Nagaya to create a Zen bowl sound installation. “Seijaku" is the Japanese word and concept for finding serenity amidst life’s chaos. The artist performs live during the show in the L’Oratoire du Louvre which was specifically chosen for its exceptional acoustics that fuse the meditative sound waves of the Zen bowls.
Within this immersive environment the models and the audience engage in a collective experience which breaks down the barrier between them. The collection reflects circular shapes and geometric patterns that are common in Cymatics, which serve as the base for this collection’s biomorphic volumes. Van Herpen continues exploring her ethos of “modern couture” by coating thousands of hand-blown glass bubbles in transparent silicone, creating a bioluminescent prism around the body.
Inspired by the work of the Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, van Herpen also uses a similar technique to silicone-coat tens of thousands of Swarovski water drop crystals, creating a dress with the look of a wet skin covered in dew drops. Other fabric techniques developed exclusively for the collection include stitching pearl-coated rubber fabric onto black tulle to create fossil and floral layering. A halter dress is laser cut and stretched over black wire to scroll around the body like waves of sound in a shell. Ethereal dresses float on a 3D moiré technique in which hand- plisséed and line-printed organza is handstitched on transparent tulle. The lightest Japanese organza is woven from threads five times thinner than human hair and made with the traditional Shibori technique, creating unique Cymatic patterns.