Guests arriving at Iris van Herpen’s debut women’s ready-to-wear presentation at Club Silencio on a weekday afternoon could be forgiven for thinking the clock had jumped forward a few hours: Inside, the scene was a cross between an art happening and a louche nightery.
Models dotted through the darkened venue writhed hypnotically in outfits including a slate gray buttonless coat in a lightweight high-gloss fabric, cagelike skirts and tops woven from lacquered leather laces, and a pony hair jacket overlaid with thick silver chains.
With guests including Tilda Swinton looking on, some models stood still while others touched the raised 3-D motifs pressed into their leather dresses and vests, generating musical notes that blended into a background of throbbing electronic music.
As Saskia de Brauw undulated on a small stage in a sleeveless dress embroidered with glossy strips of Plexiglas layered over a long crinkled skirt, the sound appeared to fall in synch with her movements. The moment perfectly captured van Herpen’s ominous, yet compelling, vision of a technocentric future.