Iris van Herpen, the visionary Dutch fashion designer and cutting-edge artist will be presenting an exhibition of technological haute couture at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art. Inspired by diverse influences in the arts, sciences, music and philosophy.
Marking the High’s first presentation of fashion design, “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” features one-of-a-kind haute couture—acclaimed for its combination of traditional craftsmanship and futuristic, innovative techniques—and includes some of the world’s first examples of 3D-printed fashion. Pieces are whimsical as they are technological, as is apparent with the three dresses made from the ribs of children’s umbrellas from Chemical Crows (January 2008), a collection inspired by the ancient tradition of alchemy and a group of crows living near van Herpen’s studio in Amsterdam.
Van Herpen is no stranger to the runway, her Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear collection featured prominently at Paris Fashion Week, but having the opportunity to display her garments in a museum setting lends well to the observation of detail and craftsmanship that her designs favour. Van Herpen’s innovations are cutting-edge, dynamic and a signify a bold, new future for fashion design. She experiments with materials like iron-filled polyurethane resin, magnets, umbrella ribs and synthetic boat rigging, and Swarovski crystals to create forms that are both organic as they are beautiful.
The high-lever of technological artistry is paired with a dedication to perfecting and preserving couture and artisanal techniques in her atelier. Her work has been worn by fashion risk-takers Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Bjork and has graced the runways of Amsterdam, London and Paris.
This exhibition will feature 45 pieces selected from across 15 collections presented since 2008. Some of the designs worth noting include the delicate, transparent “ice” dress from the Magnetic Motion (Spring 2015) collection. Van Herpen challenged 3D-printing systems to create the dynamic and groundbreaking design, which was recently acquired by the High as the Museum’s first fashion acquisition.
Visitors can view the first 3D-printed dress ever presented in a runway show, from Crystallization (July 2010), van Herpen’s collection inspired by limestone deposits and water in its various states, such as splashes or ice crystals.
Also on display is a dress made of black acrylic sheets constructed in serpentine forms that writhe and “breathe,” nicknamed the “snake dress,” from Capriole (July 2011), a collection evoking the dramatic feelings before and during a free-fall parachute jump (a collaboration with Isaie Bloch).
The exhibition is co-curated by Schleuning, Mark Wilson, chief curator for the Groninger Museum, and Sue-an van der Zijpp, curator of contemporary art for the Groninger. Following its presentation at the High, the exhibition will travel to multiple venues throughout North America, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Fall 2016), Dallas Museum of Art (Spring 2017), Cincinnati Museum of Art (Fall 2017) and Phoenix Art Museum (Spring 2018).
Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is co-organized with the Groninger Museum (the Netherlands), will be on view from Nov. 7, 2015, through May 15, 2016, before continuing on a North American tour. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E. Atlanta, GA 30309. Click for more information.