Claes Iversen presented his latest couture collection between the scaffolding in the former Jan Lighthart school on the Lindengracht in Amsterdam on 30 January 2019. The collection is characterized by gold and has the title 79Au, which is the name of gold in the periodic table. The collection exudes a great sense of luxury which offers a nice contrast with the raw industrial feel that the décor of the renovation gives. The silhouette is dominated by extremely broad shoulders and an oversized feel, combined with the always feminine silhouette that is so characteristic of Claes Iversen. As always, Iversen seeks out the tension of contrast and duality within his collections.
Yellowspot has highlighted this presentation, in which the public could see various creations from its new collection up close.
Photograph: Team Peter Stigter
Inspiration and concept
As with the recently presented ‘home couture’ project for the recently opened Hotel Mercier, Claes Iversen finds his inspiration for this collection with the African Ndebele tribe. The distinctive graphic and colourful paintings used for the family’s homes in Zimbabwe are particularly evident in the collection of tapestries. Also the piled rings that the Ndebele women wear as a tradition around their necks have been a great source of inspiration for both the ‘home couture’ and the couture collection of Iversen. In our own workshop, techniques have been developed to give the rings multiple functions. For example, by making round cutouts in the fabric, which makes the underlying skin visible or to hold pieces of ruffles together. All this with the aim of creating a game of layering in material and form. Finally, the rings are incorporated into accessories such as neck-pieces, belts and bracelets. In total, almost 2,000 rings have been incorporated into the collection.
Color and material
That gold is the common thread throughout the collection can be seen from the gold rings that have been smashed and embroidered in the garments. Each look has a golden name, but each in a different language. We also see different shades of gold in the collection, such as the gold-coated green cotton to orange gold satin. The colour palette also consists of soft pink, baby blue, purple and various shades of green, inspired by the colourful elements in the house paintings of the Ndebele tribe. In terms of material choice, satin and gloss play an important role. Japanese substances have mainly been used for this purpose. In addition to the embroidered rings, numerous materials have been applied to the creations, such as bouillion wire, sequins, crystals, metal and glass rods. In total, there are more than 900 manure embroidery in the collection, executed in our own workshop.