Dutch designer Iris van Herpen presented her latest Haute Couture collection, titled ‘Shift Souls', on January 21st, 2019 at Musée des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The collection was inspired by early examples of celestial cartography and its representations of mythological and astrological chimera, Van Herpen was particularly taken with “Harmonica Macrocosmica,” a star atlas by the German-Dutch cartographer Andreas Cellarius, published in 1600.
With the advances in DNA engineering and the first successful creations of human//animal hybrids called ‘Cybrids', themythological dreams of Humankind since the dawn of civilization are shifting to the canvas of science. While the scientific and ethical implications of "Cybrids’ are still unclear, this collection expresses the fact that this reality is upon us.
‘For ‘Shift Souls' 1 looked at the evolution of the human shape, its idealization through time and the hybridization of thefemale forms within mythology. Specially the imagination and the fluidity within identity change in Japanese mythology gave me the inspiration to explore the deeper meaning of identity and how immaterial and mutalble it can become within thecurrent coalescence of ourdigital bodies” -— Iris van Herpen