While I was at the Calais Lace museum I also saw this brilliant exhibition of the work of Iris van Herpen. She makes fashion pieces – you can’t really call them clothes – based on a variety of different topics and in many unusual materials. The pieces in the image are called ‘Chemical crows’ and are a result of her fascination with alchemy and the idea of transmuting materials. In this case gold-coloured umbrella ribs have been transformed into fan-like wing shapes and the threads attached to them give the impression of feathers in motion. The gold colour is a reference to the attraction crows have for glittering objects. Other pieces in the exhibition included dress shapes with enormous collars made from metal thread to represent the industrial smoke from refineries and a huge ‘glass’ collar based on a splash of water. To create these effects she uses techniques as varied as three-dimensional rapid prototyping, hot air guns and pliers.