Iris Van Herpen’s Recycled Couture

Russian tennis star Maria Sharpova stepped out to the Fashion Awards this week in a show stopping, one-of-a-kind gown. The handcrafted design named “Mimesis” was inspired by the ocean and created by Dutch couturiere Iris Van Herpen.

Maria’s Instagram post was captioned:

 “One year in the making, with fabric sourced from hundreds of recycled @evianwater bottles, 800+ hours of hand work by @irisvanherpen & team. Incredible to see the hard work come alive!!”

Van Herpen’s aim was to create a stunning garment that also inspires and encourages plastic recycling by showing the possibilities from the life cycle of a material that would otherwise be discarded. 

Iris Van Herpen with Maria Sharapova

“Her custom look is eco-friendly, created with 72% of recycled Evian plastic bottles that weren’t up to [traditional] recycling standards. The upcycled yarn is woven with 28% organic silk.”

Iris Van Herpen trained in classical ballet and had always been fascinated by the fluidity and art of movement, which is evidently captured in her work. Other influences include nature and elements of water, air and earth; their beauty, mystery and chaos are aspects that the designer draws inspiration from. 

Lady Gaga – Chromatica album release in Iris Van Herpen

Having worked as an intern for Alexander McQueen in London, Van Herpen then launched her own label in 2007. Two years later and she is dressing Lady Gaga, who was later to become one of her biggest supporters. 

Celebrating female empowerment, Van Herpen values a collaborative design process with inspirational women and has also dressed Scarlett Johansson, Beyonce, Cate Blanchett and Bjork and is considered one of fashion’s most forward-thinking designers.

Shift Souls collection

The brand challenges the future of fashion by rethinking previously unimaginable ways of Haute Couture.

“Fashion is an instrument for change, to shift us emotionally. Through biomimicry I look at the forces behind the forms in nature, these patterns and natural cycles are my guide to explore new forms of femininity for a more conscious and sustainable fashion for the future.”

– Iris van Herpen