The Works of Iris Van Herpen: Unique, Geek and Chic

 Who is Iris Van Herpen?

Iris Van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer and dress-maker whose trademark is an aesthetic that is both dark and fantastical. If there is such a thing as utterly unique, her works fill the bill. As one of the first designers to utilize 3-D printing technologies, Van Herpen is regarded as a designer in the front line position for this technology's introduction into the world of fashion/ technology.


Van Herpen Mesh Dress: Source: DezeenVan Herpen Mesh Dress: Source: Dezeen


She studied fashion design at Artez Institute of the Arts Arnhem where in addition to studying fashion, she also began to mix diverse disciplines such as painting and sculpture. She interned at Alexander McQueen in London and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam, creating her own brand back in 2007. Her focus became not so much on making the clothes but rather on the process itself, which for her is complex, intense and even more significant than the final result.

In her own words: "For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to me and to my body.  I see it as my ...identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting. In all my work I try to make it clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showng and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commerical tool."


Van Herpen Dress- Full View: Source: DezeenVan Herpen Dress- Full View: Source: Dezeen


The works of Van Herpen

Although most of Iris Van Herpen's work is a collaboration with the Belgian company, Materialize, she often joins forces with many diverse artists including: choreographer and dancer, Nanine Linning; visual artist, Bart Hess; shoe brand, United Nude, filmmaker, Zach Gold, and milliner, Steven Jones, just to name a few. Her most recent collection, which is a joint effort with textile designer, Aleksandra Gaca, is comprised of a lightweight, translucent mesh that is hand-burnished and cut into circular shapes and pleated for texture.

When speaking of the new ready-to-wear collection, Van Herpen said: "It explores the possibilities of new geographies and our place within them...The colors and shapes used for the clothes were based on the notion of terraforming other planets to make them suitable for human inhabitance."


Van Herpen Dress- Front View: Source: DezeenVan Herpen Dress- Front View: Source: Dezeen


The legacy of Iris Van Herpen

Her venture into the world of 3-D printing was an audacious move on her part and one that cemented her reputation as a daring pioneer in the dynamic world of modern fashion. Her designs are inspired by vivid colors, shapes and textures and form their own uniique and bold fashion statement.

Closing thoughts on unique design:

I'd rather be a little weird than all boring. ~ Rebecca McKinsey

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