Van Herpen mixes kimono with organic life in Paris

Associated Press
A model wears a creation of Dutch designer Iris van Herpen for the Haute Couture Fall-Winter 2013-2014 collection, Monday, July 1, 2013 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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PARIS (AP) — Wild nature was in the spotlight for Dutch wunderkind Iris Van Herpen, who produced a typically organic-infused couture display for fall-winter 2013.

The show venue — among the pillared architecture of the neoclassical science museum — lent itself well to the exploration of organisms and exoskeletons that infused the 11 creations.

The twist this season was a neat fusion with Japanese styles. It featured nicely, for example, on a bronze kimono dress with round, large arms in the shape of a moth. Here, scratched detailing evoked the feeling of a perforated cocoon.

The piece de resistance had to be an incredible oval dark gray mini dress that, in its intricate hard ruffles, teaming sinews and un-human shape, looked like a work of abstract sculpture.

But the most memorable, for good or bad reasons, was a creation that could only be described as an explosion of skeletal plumage. It featured flapping chicken heads that looked like they would peck off the model's lips.

The show, however, was somewhat inconsistent.

There was also a feeling that Van Herpen is having trouble moving forward creatively from her organic themes. Although finely executed, two exoskeletal sheath dresses felt a little like a rehash of styles that appeared in previous seasons.

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Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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