Dutch designer Iris van Herpen may be known for highly imaginative couture, but the footwear she sends down the runway — created in collaboration with United Nude — is just as inventive. Intricate constructions are vital to her collections, including gravity-defying booties on super-curved stilettos and laceups featuring “fangs” instead of heels. “United Nude makes the impossible possible for me,” she said. “No matter how complex the design is, they always manage to do it.” The looks often become limited-edition retail offerings for United Nude boutiques, such as the latest selection of booties featuring leather spikes for spring ’13 haute couture — the labels’ seventh season working together. And though Van Herpen recently toned things down for her ready-to-wear line in March, she will continue to partner with United Nude on her shoes for haute couture. “[We are working on footwear for] the next collection in July that includes a new production method,” she hinted. Here, the designer’s picks for the most stylish movie moments, essential travel items and beautiful creatures.
Favorite sea creature: “The octopus. It has the most beautiful movements, and it seems to not come from this planet. I love their skin structures and the fact that they have specialized skin cells that can change color.”
Coffee or tea? “Tea. My body reacts strangely to coffee.”
Most memorable fashion moment in a film: “Tilda Swinton in ‘Orlando,’ in her huge dress filling up a whole couch.”
A person’s best features are … “Eyes and height.”
Must-have travel item: “My iPod and headphones. The right music is really important for me when I travel. It brings me peace.”
If I weren’t a designer I’d be … “A dancer. I don’t have the discipline for it, but I love both classical ballet and modern dance, and I admire dancers a lot.”