Iris Van Herpen “Roots of Rebirth” Haute Couture by Aybuke Barkcin


Dear Shaded Viewers,

Iris Van Herpen continues to push boundaries with her latest Spring Haute Couture collection entitled Roots of Rebirth. With each collection, the designer further blurs the lines between fashion and art, making us continuously wonder the depths of the designer’s world, her immense focus on detail, craftsmanship and innovation.

An exploration of mankind’s relation to nature, the collection evolves around Biologist Merlin Sheldrake’s book entitled “Entangled Life: How Fungi Makes Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape our Futures”, a story about the importance of fungi in human life.

“Roots of Rebirth explores the deeply fragile interconnectedness of an unfamiliar world, the enigmatic fungi empire and the life-bearing fine threads of mycelium. The collection details the extraordinary existence of this winding ‘fabric of life,’ the marvelling world of undergrowth tapestry.” wrote the designer’s instagram account.

It is no wonder that Iris Van Herpen has found her inspiration in biology and nature once again. A perfectly crafted blend of science, art and engineering in one collection… transporting you to another world (the future perhaps) where our garments carry signatures of nature that we continuously destroy. Intricate vein like embroidery encompassing the human body, like trees covered in roots, drawing energy and breathing life to those around it. A sensual yet powerful depiction of women if you ask me.

The surprise of the show wasn’t only the beautiful gowns but also who wore them. Sevdaliza, the Iranian-born Dutch singer made her debut on the runway as she walked in a fiery red gown detailed with fungi like swirls surrounding it. A true non-conformist who doesn’t shy away from openly discussing her gender and identity, the artist explained in an interview with L’Officiel, “I recognize my own artistic process in hers (Iris Van Herpen’s), and our artistic universes collide. She is truly a timeless artist, her atelier is incredible—a wealth of knowledge and experience flows through every piece.”

In the world of Iris Van Herpen, each dress is uniquely crafted, fitting in different parts within the ecosystem. Some which bares likeness to fungi, others which carry resemblances to the aquamarine world. All connected in an ecological network harmonised through fashion.

Aybuke Barkcin

Aybüke Barkçin is an art director, photographer, curator and writer that looks at fashion through the lens of political and societal dynamics. She completed her master's Creative Direction in POLIMODA, Italy and has a background in International Relations and Graphic Design. Her work can be found in her website: