Iris van Herpen at Lace Museum in Calais


Deftly treading a design path laid by Hussein Chalayan and Rei Kawakubo, young Dutch designer Iris van Herpen has quickly made a name for herself with ‘wearable sculptures’ that push the boundaries of haute couture though the use of new technologies.

Van Herpen’s architectural silhouettes pack a punch in terms of visual impact, but a display of 30 creations by the designer currently on show at the International Center For Lace and Fashion in Calais, in northern France, allows visitors to appreciate up close the painstaking intricacy of her work while also offering an insight into her creative processes.

The experimental designer often accentuates shoulders and hips through the manipulation of fabrics, and frequently collaborates with engineers and artists to explore new materials– her last collection included clothing created using the magnetic forces of iron filings set into resin. The designer’s expert use of 3D technology can create astonishing shapes, while the back-to-the-future designer also likes to incorporate traditional techniques, such as lacing and fluting.

The exhibition runs until December 31, 2014.