February 2010

Synesthesia is a rare and particular neurological condition that results in a combination of sensory perceptions,  for instance,  some people can taste colors and see sounds.

To underscore and to visualize this entanglement of sensory perceptions Van Herpen used specially treated leather coated on one side with shiny metal foil, to  create a striking and bewildering visual effect, making it difficult for the viewer to recognize exactly what she or he sees. Moreover, van Herpen treats the body here as an extremely receptive, hypersensitive, and fragile whole. Starting from a vision of the future in which clothing might supplement or strengthen sensory perception, van Herpen has designed elements such as hypersensitive, vibrating instruments and extra receptors, which enable the wearer to experience the world in an entirely different way.

This collection was van Herpen’s first collaboration with United Nude, which made the shoes with laced leather a gold foil detailing. 

The shoes were presented in her catwalk show during London fashion week and the collaboration shall soon be available as a limited edition item, only available at the world’s most exclusive retailers and at the United Nude flagship and concept stores in Amsterdam, New York, Shanghai and Vienna at a retail price of $1,295 USD (EURO 1,000).

The Iris van Herpen X United Nude product is a glamorous ankle bootie with smooth round lines and golden leather detailing on the front and back of the shoe, with three-dimensional characteristics. Transparency, reflections and movements create the effect of visual estrangement. The construction of the shoe is so complicated and precise that each pair is 100% hand-made with the highest grade Italian kid leather available. Therefore, the production of this unique product has been kept to the very low number of 240 limited edition pairs worldwide of which 168 are in black with gold and 72 in ivory with gold.

Drawings by Rollan Didier