“Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” Moves to Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan


“Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion,” an exhibition first staged at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in collaboration with the Groninger Museum of the Netherlands, will relocate to the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) this October. It features 45 of Iris van Herpen’s haute couture outfits selected from 15 different collections designed between 2008 and 2015, along with a selection of 3-D printed shoe designs.

The Dutch designer has carved a name for her wearable sculpture, fusing artistic and conceptual experimentations that use unusual materials such as translucent stainless steel fabric or transparent photopolymer sterolithography resin while still relying on traditional techniques like lacing and fluting.

"Iris’s designs have been described as having a ‘sublime beauty,’” says GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt adding, "She accomplishes that by melding design, technology, fashion, and science in a manner that seems almost effortless but remains deeply rooted in traditional craftsmanship.”

The visionary designer has explored the effects of electricity as it moves through the body as well as the representation of sounds (in her latest Haute Couture Fall 2016 collection), and many of her creations bring to mind a Rorschach drawing. While some may view them as futuristic, van Herpen is adamant they are really of the “now” given that they are already a reality on her catwalks.

“Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” will run from October 23 through January 15, 2017, before moving on to the Dallas Museum of Art next spring, then Cincinnati in fall 2017, and Phoenix in spring 2018.