Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion
October 23, 2016 – January 15, 2017
Step onto the runway this fall with an in-depth look at the work of Dutch fashion designer, Iris van Herpen. Cutting-edge designs by van Herpen have been worn by style icons such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Bjork and have electrified the runways of Amsterdam, London, and Paris. She has gained international acclaim for her combination of traditional craftsmanship and futuristic, innovative techniques—including some of the world’s first examples of 3-D-printed fashion. Her visually impressive, sculptural designs often feature unusual materials such as umbrella ribs and synthetic boat rigging.
Iris van Herpen produced her first collection in 2007, shortly after graduating from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. Born in the small town of Wamel, she is now based primarily in Amsterdam. In 2012 she became a member of the exclusive Chambre Syndicale de Haute Couture, where her designs regularly appear in biannual Paris runway shows. Van Herpen divides her time between the contained world of her studio, her global network of collaborators, and the international stage of fashion.
Speaking of her artistic philosophy, van Herpen says, “For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods, and cultural setting. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion.”
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion features 45 haute couture outfits carefully selected from 15 of van Herpen’s collections designed from 2008 through 2015: 18 pieces from the designer’s most recent lines and a selection of her shoe designs, and 27 pieces from van Herpen’s solo exhibition at the Groninger Museum, Netherlands.
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. The exhibition was curated by Sarah Schleuning, High Museum of Art, and Mark Wilson and Sue-an van der Zijpp, Groninger Museum. Support for this exhibition has generously been provided by Creative Industries Fund NL. GRAM is one of only seven North American venues for Transforming Fashion.