The Swarovski Kristallwelten store in Vienna is one of three in Austria in operation with the aim of fusing art and lifestyle to transform ‘Swarovski’ crystal into a living experience.’ Van Herpen’s work for the company gets straight to this point: ‘Biomorphism’ – the body of installations created for the store – is the designer’s ode to the performance of femininity.
"Thanks to van Herpen’s metaphysical rousing – are set in place with Biomorphism: a visitor’s perception of the brand’s reach and that so-often misunderstood thing we call femininity."
Meant to evoke the fuzziness between reality and unreality experienced in the subconscious during lucid dreaming, the aforementioned glass sculpture by Valter Adam Casotto is fashioned after the real head of Dutch model Iekeliene Stange. It inhabits one of the five cubed vitrine spaces envisioned by van Herpen and set designer Rhea Thierstein.
Contrasting the hyperreality of Casotto’s work, a glass sculpture outlining the contours of a woman’s face by the Austrian artist Bernd Weinmayer turns instead to the interpretive, casting enigmatic shadows in all directions of a second cube.
"Sometimes a garment is perfectly in tune with the body and the two dance together. Sometimes it is exactly the opposite, and the garment determines how the body moves. It is this disruption, this intuition that I wanted to focus on in this installation."
In a third, a haunting white moiré dress designed by van Herpen – called Infinity – billows, playing with light to cause a spectrum of patterned illusions for the viewer. Made of tulle, thousands of hand-stitched leather circles, white pearl filigree and Swarovski 3D studs, the Aeriform dress poses a visually kinetic explosion in the fourth.
"Each of the stages is an ode to the power of the infinite, to countless changes within us. They are a very personal expression of my fascination for dance, nature, and surrealism"
Developed in collaboration with artists Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones, Cymatic – Biomorphism’s final installation – presents image sculptures depicting geometric visualizations of sound waves. Referring to her background in classical ballet.
Please update your browser to access Creative Exchange Agency.
To request a PDF, please enter your email address. Once your PDF has been generated, you will receive an email with a download link.