V Exclusive: Iris Van Herpen and Maria Bodil Present Photoseries ‘Symbiosis’

Step into the surrealist universe of Iris Van Herpen.

The otherwordly magic of Iris Van Herpen’s Spring Summer 2021 collection slithers from the underworld to breathe life into a photo series with creative direction from Maria Bodil and studio Post Neon. Illustrating the symbiotic relationships of nature, the images symbolize the inextricable bond between subterranean fungi and the earth.

Appearing in a Yves Tanguy-esque backdrop of gradient blue and umber, each of Van Herpen’s ethereal creations is stark against the surrealist nature of each portrait. Models stand on extraterrestrial land, in swirling pools of water and cracked earth. The 3-D shapes of each garment — tendrils of gills, mycelium structures, and fluid swaths of fabric — enhance the shoot’s dreamlike quality.

One image evokes Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, with a liquescent white gown emerging from a shell with glowing roots. Another highlights the sculptural quality of the human body. In this universe, the natural world harmonizes with technology in a sacred union.

Maria Bodil, composed of multidisciplinary creatives Lieve Maria Eek and Marthe Bodil Vos, partnered with Van Herpen and Amsterdam-based studio Post Neon to conceptualize the transcendent photo collection. With their visionary prowess, the team created an alternative reality for their shoot where nature and technology come together in symbiotic balance.

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