Iris Van Herpen presented her SS21 Haute Couture show, named “Roots of Rebirth,” on Monday, but there are several reasons why it’s still at the top of my mind. First, the collection is uniquely inspired by fungi, specifically, the “intricacy of fungi and the entanglement of life that breathes beneath our feet.” This notion is celebrated in every aspect of the presentation, from the Dutch couturier’s meticulous detailing to the couture collection’s complementary beauty looks.

Van Herpen’s collection is inspired by the book, Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake, a text that describes “how fungi make our worlds, change our minds, and shape our futures.” The novel’s influence was increasingly evident on the runway with the presentation of pleated gowns and designs with hovering fins that move as if alive. If your schedule is too packed to watch the fashion show in full, at least pay a visit to Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova’s Instagram feed to see her breathtaking transformation into a fantastical creature, born to reflect the “interconnected roots” of underground organisms.

Ahead, GRAZIA breaks down the Iris Van Herpen SS21 Haute Couture beauty look, including details about the fashion show’s makeup, hair, and nails.

makeup: earthy smoky eye

Keeping in line with the fungi concept, NYC-based makeup artist, Chiao Li Hsu, went with an earth-toned smoky eye using Mac Pro cosmetics. In an email exchange with GRAZIA, the makeup artist revealed that she used the following products to create the look, choosing shades to complement each model’s skin tone: the MAC Pro Eye Palette in The Social Climber and The Dame, as well as Art Library: Flame-Boyant and Single Eyeshadows in Brun, Embark, and Carbon. Additional products used include Technakohl Liner in Graphblack, Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack, and Matte Lipstick in Love U Back and Honeylove. A look at the natural glam below.

hair: sleek and “organic”

It’s imperative that you get an up-close view of Olivier Schawalder’s hair creation to understand its complexity. The professional posted a video on Instagram documenting the front and back of the sleek hairstyle. A unique horizontal part separates the top and back portion of the hair. Both sections of hair are folded, twisted, and pinned to the head into a circular shape. In a virtual exchange with GRAZIA, Schawalder describes the hairstyle as “organic,” meant to invoke “a similar feeling” to Van Herpen’s creations. Amazingly, no hairpins were used to create the look, “only Redken 18 Super Hard Gel.”

GRAZIA can’t talk about the fashion show without touching on the “Minds in Motion” crown made in collaboration with Seattle-based artist, Casey Curran. In an Instagram post, the label describes the complex, moving accessory: “Eighteen transparent monofilament threads meander through a series of brass coils, engineered to continuously shape-shift its silhouette.” In an Instagram post, the artist revealed that the design took “about a year” to complete.

nails: 3d printed nail art

This otherworldly manicure is the maximalist nail moment we’ve been waiting for this Paris Fashion Week. The look was dreamed up in collaboration with manicurist, Eichi Matsunaga. The fashion label describes it as “transparent 3D printed exoskeletal nail art.” While this isn’t exactly realistic for day-to-day wear, we’re intrigued by the concept of transparent acrylics and nail jewelry, two practical alternatives to the sculptural design.

To watch the Iris Van Herpen SS21 Haute Couture fashion show in full, press “play” on the 10-minute video, below.

thoughts?