Replacing needle and thread for 3-D rapid laser prototyping techniques, or rhodoid blades, this was very much a futuristic vision of couture, evoking alien creatures or strange insects. Aside from the dark experimental mood, what is striking about the work of Iris van Herpen — who is from the Netherlands and has worked at Alexander McQueen, and counts Björk among her followers — is the sculptural, industrial design quality of her dresses.

They came coated in swirling plastic triangles; sprouted organic ruffles; metallic coils, or giant mesh cloud skirts. These were major statement pieces, with minidresses honed from resin skeletons or masses of black writhing snakes.

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