When fashion takes inspiration from a work of art such as Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, full of enigmatic symbolism and imagery, one would think of exploiting most of the ornate images of the triptych’s “surreal” settings into the garments. Examples of this abound, however, designer Ira Iceberg (@iraiceberg) proposes for her IA London’s (@ia_london) Spring/Summer ’23 collection, entitled “The Garden of Earthly Delights”, a rather avant-garde and thought-provoking approach inspired by the Netherlandish painter’s work.
Through her own interpretation of the work, the collection’s narrative is centered on two panels:
1) The Garden of Eden (left panel): depicting Eve “seductively presenting her body to Adam” (Walter S. Gibson) and;
2) The Garden of Earthly Delights (central panel): where earthly figures seek pleasure in various ways.
The collection also focuses on the power of the Serpent over Eve and Adam resulting in their punishment from the Heavenly Garden and their fall into Earthly Delights, where their traditional gender roles and identity are questioned.
All of this is transposed in the collection in the form of bodycon dresses, tops, and leggings printed in soft semi-transparent Italian mesh and printed with images of artistic nudes, male and female, flowers, and full body harnesses.
The campaign photos, shot by the renowned Ki Price (@kiprice), show the earthly garments ‘interpreted’ by male and female models, inviting openness towards traditional gender roles in line with some of the brand’s previous garments from the FW22 season, emphasizing the brand’s sense of timelessness.
The collection lands as a finishing touch with the sneakers “Naked” line featuring IA London prints designed in collaboration with Japanese footwear brand Grounds, completing the collection’s narrative.
“Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.“William Blake
Having broadly outlined the collection, there are several ways in which it is appealing. In the first instance, the unexpected juxtaposition of the artistic nude imagery with the semi-transparent fabric creates a play on the concept of nudity and gender of the body, as well as the very concept of the garment itself as that of covering the naked body.
Secondly, by taking one of the central elements of the work, that of mankind/humanity, rather than resorting to the use of transposing a piece of the fantastic imagery of Bosch’s work directly onto the garments, the choice is made to focus on the primary (and interrelated) elements such as man and nature, complemented by the models’ own bodies, deepening the concept of the genderless.
Finally, we could consider the collection itself as a “garden of earthly delights” by focusing on the various meanings of the concept of pleasure, referring to 1) the perception of what is desired. 2) bodily pleasure: erotism and 3) the pleasure found in some power relations exemplified by leadership and domination.
Timelessness, authenticity and superior quality, craftsmanship, and sustainability distinguish the designer’s collections as always.
IA London’s Paris Fashion Week sales campaign will take place between September 29 and October 2nd. The showroom will include the new collection, IA London’s timeless pieces, and the new IA London X Grounds footwear.
IA London Spring-Summer 2023: The Garden of Earthly Delights
Photography: Ki Price @kiprice
Film Direction: Ira Iceberg @iraiceberg
Footage: Freddie Parr @fred.w.p
MUA: Lans London @lanslondon
Hair: Kristian Szalay @kristian.szalat
Footwear: Grounds @grounds.official
Alex Bruni @alexb244 / @greymodelsagency
She Lan @shelandaune / @w_modelmgmt
Tianrui Xu @irrxuu / @w_modelmgmt