Countless hours of amazing craftsmanship went into each look at Paris Haute Couture Week, but this design flat-out stopped us in our tracks. Ladies and gentleman, behold the glass-bubble dress.
The look is part of Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen's Fall/Winter 2016-2017 collection, which was inspired by patterns made by sonic waves. Known for her sculptural pieces, the designer has always embraced technology, and is credited as being the first to apply 3-D printing to fashion design.
For this particular dress, Iris used thousands of hand-blown glass balls. She coated them in transparent silicone, which helped them stick together to form what she referred to as a "bioluminescent prism around the body." (We were going to say "dress," but that description seems much more apt.)
The resulting "prism" has a sleeveless bodice with a high neckline, and a skirt that flares out into a permanent Marilyn-moment-type situation.
Another bubbly dress in the collection—this one long, slim-fitting, and transparent— was inspired by the work of Japanese artist Kohei Nawa, who creates with materials including glass bubbles and foam. This dress was made of silicone, and embedded with thousands of droplet-shaped crystals.
To underscore the surreal, serene vibe, the show took place in a Paris church that was chosen specifically for its acoustics. Japanese artist Kazuya Nagaya played singing bowls that were arranged in rings, creating a meditative buzz that flooded the space.
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