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Iris Van Herpen Celebrates Feminine Perseverance in Spring 2023 Haute Couture Collection

It's the kind of presentation that gives you butterflies.
09. Iris van Herpen,  Carte Blanche, SS23, Atmosphere shot

Haute couture tends to evoke emotions and tell stories that otherwise don't get told in fashion. Whether it be through theatrical presentations that transport you to another world or with dancers showing how the clothes come alive through movement, these collections can be magical, even mind-altering.

Iris Van Herpen is no stranger to otherworldly and innovative designs, though her latest might be her most moving yet.

Titled "Carte Blanche," the Spring 2023 haute couture collection was released in the form of a short film, inspired by what the brand describes as "womanly bravery and perseverance." In a post to Instagram, van Herpen writes: "It is an ode to the ongoing resilience and strength of women worldwide and to the strength of Iranian women."

The film — made in collaboration with French artist Julie Gautier — shows models completely submersed in water, performing choreography that "slowly disembodies control." (Van Herpen called on her studies of classical ballet as a child to inform the presentation.) They wear a series of corseted looks covered in the brand's signature fluid-like boning, in a variety of colors: red, blue, purple and more. 

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07. Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Atmosphere shot

One ensemble in particular, worn by Gautier, features human and synthetic hair dyed bright red, flowing down the sides of a corset. In the scene, Gautier can be seen screaming, resulting in a stream of bubbles flowing toward the surface; she returns to the top of the water to join the other models, taking a fresh, gasping breath of air — "moving into resilience and invincibility," as van Herpen explained on Instagram.

There's simply no questioning van Herpen's artistry and dedication to a unique presentation with every collection. All that's left is excitement for what could possibly come next. 

Scroll through below to view the entire collection.

Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 01
Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 02
Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 03
Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 04
Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 05
Iris van Herpen, Carte Blanche, SS23, Look 06

Homepage Photo: Courtesy of Iris Van Herpen

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