A group of crows living around Van Herpen’s studio triggered her association with black magic and alchemy. Crows are known for their intelligence, predilection for glittering objects, and are traditionally associated with secrecy and symbolism. Van Herpen shares with alchemists a passion for controlling and transmuting materials. As alchemists tried to turn base metals into gold, so Van Herpen has transformed in several designs gold-coloured ribs of 700 children’s umbrellas into shapes reminiscent of the movement of wings and feathers. The quest of the alchemists to change ‘all metals into gold by using the right chemicals’, gave Iris the idea to change the active and mysterious crows into gold and to manipulate the reality of material control. The collection is handcrafted from thousands of brass ribs, so as to maintain the refinement of the feathers, but hard as gold. What the alchemists were doing back then, gaining the control over materials, is actually relevant now that 3D-printing is upcoming.