IRIS VAN HERPEN: Transforming Fashion Exhibit Opens at High Museum in Atlanta
Designer Iris Van Herpen was in Atlanta last week for the opening of the High Museum of Art’s exclusive exhibition entitled IRIS VAN HERPEN: Transforming Fashion. This mind-boggling collection is truly at the intersection of fine art, fashion and technology. Materials used in the construction of the garments include spun stainless steel, plastics, leather, mirrors, umbrella ribs, and a multitude of fabrics. This spectacular exhibit, which features 45 outfits displayed over three floors, will be on view from Nov 7 through May 15.
During her visit, van Herpen spoke about her work and design aesthetic with Eugene Rabkin, founder of stylezeitgeist.com. I got a chance to listen in. Here are a few highlights of that conversation:
- Van Herpen is known for pushing the boundaries of design. One of her most fascinating methods has been to create garments using 3D printing. But, she explained, all of her pieces start in a very low tech way, with a sketch on paper. Then working with an architect, usually via Skype, each sketch is refined into an image that can be 3D printed. Once a design is final, a file is sent to a printer who creates the garment.
- Van Herpen shared that she loved dancing when she was younger and it is has influenced her designs. “My fascination with movement comes from my love of dance,” she explains.
- Many of van Herpen’s designs utilize unusual materials. Commenting on this she says, “I have fantasies about working with materials that I can’t actually work with, like water. For instance, I designed a water dress which was basically made by throwing buckets of black and clear water on a model. I had a photographer take photos throughout the process. Afterwards we chose an image that we liked and I made a dress from that image.” Here’s a video about that project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk7yTGoOKIE
- Although some have labeled van Herpen’s work as futuristic, she disagrees. “My fashion is about here and now,” she says. “I’m exploring everything around me, the seen and unseen. But my work reflects what’s possible now.”
- When asked what we can expect from her next, van Herpen laughs and says, “I can’t tell you what to expect, because I don’t know myself.”
For more information about the Iris van Herpen exhibit and upcoming events, here’s a link for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta: http://www.high.org/
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