Starting this winter at Musée des Arts décoratifs
in Paris is presenting Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses. Held at the Musée des Arts décoratifs, since November 29, 2023 to April 28, 2024, the exhibition Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses pays tribute to one of the most forward-thinking fashion designers. A pioneer in the use of new technologies in her discipline, Iris van Herpen transgresses conventional clothing norms, while embracing both traditional Couture craftsmanship and innovative techniques.
Ranging from micro to macro, the exhibition questions the place of the body in space, its relationship to clothing and its environment, and its future in a rapidly changing world. A selection of over one hundred haute couture pieces made by Iris van Herpen dialogue with works of contemporary art, by artists like the Collectif Mé, Wim Delvoye, Kate MccGwire, Damien Jalet, Kohei Nawa, Casey Curran, Rogan Brown, Jacques Rougerie and design pieces by Neri Oxman, Ren Ri, Ferruccio Laviani, and Tomáš Libertíny, in addition to items from the spheres of the natural sciences, such as skeletons and fossils, thereby instilling a unique resonance with historical pieces.
Born in 1984, Iris van Herpen grew up in the village of Wamel (Netherlands) in harmony with nature and the living world, which are, along with the classical dance she practiced intensively from an early age, the founding elements of her relationship to the body and clothing. After a formative period with Alexander McQueen and Claudy Jongstra, she founded the Maison Iris van Herpen in Amsterdam in 2007, combining the subtleties of craftsmanship with the pioneering spirit of innovation, decompartmentalising and opening up her practice to a host of other disciplines, resulting in sensorial design that capture the intricacy and diversity of a natural world.
Four years later, she joined the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. The year 2010 marked a turning point in her career: she presented her first 3D-printed dress from the Crystallization Collection, currently conserved by the Musée des Arts décoratifs. In the manner of the iconic piece made in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and the Materialise company, Iris van Herpen contemplates fashion as an
interdisciplinary language and a dynamic entity, the result of the cross-pollination of various fields: art, chemistry, dance, physics, architecture, biology, design, and technology. By collaborating with creatives and thinkers of all stripes, she seeks to challenge our notions of Haute-Couture.
The exhibition ends with a presentation of Iris van Herpens works as if projected in the immensity of the cosmos. Her dresses dance across the sky, with bodies floating through space and time. The photographic works of artist Kim Keever, as well as images of nebulae encourage visitors to experience the world in a more holistic fashion.
Musée des Arts décoratifs
Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses
November 29th, 2023 - April 28th, 2024