Master Class: Mode & Danse at ASVOFF 8

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers, 

Three total experts came together last week for a special moment at ASVOFF 8. To be honest, they could have talked about something as banal as light switches for all most people cared, because their coming together was spectacular-a-proposal enough. In this case, however, the topic of discussion was fashion and dance, and the experts were Iris van Herpen, designer and one to rarely make public appearances of this kind; Marc Happel, Costume Director at NYC Ballet; and Anja Aronowsky Cronberg, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Vestoj.

The Master Class followed topics of collaboration, and the transformation of the body and materials. Iris van Herpen is not unfamiliar to collaborations, as she very often works with other fields in the creation of her garments. Marc Happel explained that this was one of the main reasons why the project between the two of them, when van Herpen was invited to design the costumes for a performance in 2013, worked so well. Another reason was that Iris van Herpen had done classical ballet herself for many years. She is thus particularly sensitive to the movement of the body, and how this could be not only facilitated by, but also transferred into the garments. A particular boot for the ballet showed exactly this. In an other-worldly way it visually enhanced the bending of the dancers foot; a kind of mutation of the body that’s both unnerving and very beautiful, and is also not unlike the couture garments that van Herpen creates each season. 

All photos © Christian Tarro Toma –

Happy Monday, 




Sophie Joy Wright