Named “Sensory Illusion,” the 10-piece line will include four bra styles, three bottoms as well as a bodysuit, nightie and waist-cincher.
“I love lingerie as it’s so personal and is often a hidden gem that is mostly a private experience. In a world that becomes more transparent every day, there is a beautiful mystery to find in lingerie,” Van Herpen wrote in an email, adding that her couture work already played with similar ideals of transparency and “delicate textures that seem to flat onto the skin.”
This idea of adornment on the skin blended with Van Herpen’s love for nature resulted in a botanical theme for the collection to express the “organic femininity” she imagined.
Aubade’s brand and product director Samar Vignals called the collaboration “an unexpected and exciting encounter” that brought a sense of “avant-garde innovation and a very forward vision of fashion” that pushed the envelope for the 60-year-old brand.
“In the process, we experimented a lot but had to [make choices] like deciding a bra could not be 3D-printed. We went through from the most daring and open-minded creation to achieving what we were all convinced is right, new but also achievable and realistic,” Vignals said.
Connecting Van Herpen’s experimental couture and the highly specialized lingerie specialist was a love of luxurious materials. Lace, in particular, a lingerie essential and a material the couturier appreciates for its technical complexity.
“It was cutting-edge and innovative when it was developed in the 16th century. The 3D printers and laser cutters of today are in a way what the ‘Leavers’ machines from the 19th century were,” said the designer, whose avant-garde designs are showcased in the “P.Lace.S” exhibition running at the MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp in Belgium.
Nodding to Van Herpen’s liquid silhouettes, often with layers of lightweight material creating gradient effects, her Aubade designs play with color in the same way, resulting in two colorways: the rose-toned “Silk Rose” and a black-and-bronze dubbed “Golden Leaves.”
Something of a technical feat to achieve using embroidery, according to Vignals. “We explored different lace and embroidery techniques, testing several combinations to create unique see-through effects and swirling leaf-like embroideries,” she said.
“We were set on embedding the soft color gradients into the embroidery, which isn’t so easy in larger productions,” conceded Van Herpen, who pointed out “how organic line work can make your eye travel the skin,” and “express intimacy artfully” in the end result.
The Iris van Herpen x Aubade collection will be available in June 2022 as part of the lingerie brand’s fall offering from its physical and online stores, as well as its retail network.
As part of Aubade’s premium offering, the collaboration will retail between 60 euros for a tanga style and 199 euros for the nightie, with a two-piece underwear set coming out around 190 euros.
Bra sizes will run up to a G cup in certain styles, while bottoms will go from an XS to an XXL.
Previous designer collaborations for the lingerie specialist include Christian Lacroix, Viktor & Rolf and most recently, the Karl Lagerfeld label for winter 2021.