The Dutch designer's collections come to the U.S. for the first time
By Dola RC
Iris van Herpen’s designs are creating ripples in the fashion world. The Dutch designer has an uncanny knack of drawing inspirations from a variety of very unusual sources. While her Spring/Summer, 2016 collection takes a cue from India’s living tree and explores the powerful connection between nature and architecture, 2014's ready to wear collection Magnetic Motion was influenced by the powerful forces of CERN’s famous large hadron collider.
The distinctive quality of Iris’ designs is not limited to the sources of her inspirations. She skillfully integrates cutting edge technology in the age old handcrafted tradition of high fashion. She loves experimenting with the materials. Latest inventions like computer modeling, 3D printing technology, etc. frequently find a place in her creations.
Though only in her early 30s, Van Herpen already managed to establish her eponymous label on firm ground. She traveled widely exhibiting her haute couture and prêt-à-porter collections in the most prominent fashion conscious cities across the globe. At 27, she became the youngest designer ever to be a part of Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week’s official schedule. But until recently, her solo shows and exhibitions did not reach the American shore. With the opening of her inaugural exhibition at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art on November 7th this finally changed.
In an exclusive interview, Sarah Schleuning, co-curator of Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion shared her thoughts about Iris’ creative exploits and the aim of the exhibition itself. Commenting on the young designer’s continuous efforts of redefining contemporary fashion, Sarah said, “She uses technology in the service of crafting her vision. Her work pushes all of us to imagine the contemporary world through a unique lens.”
The High Museum of Art is dedicated to the cause of contemporary art and design. So it was an appropriate venue to set off Iris’ debut North American tour. “She is an artist who exemplifies creativity, innovation, and aesthetic vision,” Sarah remarked, “We are honored to have three of her works, including the Ice dress, in our collection.” The exhibition features 45 outfits, carefully handpicked from more than a dozen of Iris’ collections between 2008 and 2015. Groninger Museum contributed 27 of these designs.
“We see this as a dynamic opportunity to champion an amazing artist and her visionary work. Her innovations are inspiring the Atlanta community, and we look forward to its successful tour around North America.” Sarah’s expectations are not unjustified. The exhibition is already a huge success and expects to draw even more visitors with the commencement of the festive season. In many ways, it summarizes the creative journey and the maturity of a precocious talent in the glamor world of fashion so far, an expedition that has been as glitteringly adventurous as some of her own designs.
Image Courtesy: Bart Oomes, Michel Zoeter, Mike Jensen & High Museum of Art. ■
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