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Exhibit showcases fashion designs that change with movement

Swatches | March 1, 2024 | By:

“Galactic Glitch” dress from the 2019 “Shift Souls” collection. The dress was made in collaboration with Philip Beesley. Images: Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts)/© Dominique Maitre

Art, dance and architecture meet haute couture in the exhibit “Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses” at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Paris, France. The exhibit features the work of Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, who is known for blending technology, such as 3D printing and laser cutting, and traditional craftsmanship in her designs.

“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,” notes the release about the works.

The exhibit includes a selection of more than 100 pieces made by Herpen of materials such as Mylar®, Komon Kobo, organza, tulle and more. 

A dress made from satin duchesse, Mylar and tulle from the 2019 “Hypnosis” collection, developed in collaboration with Philip Beesley.

Pieces featured are from a variety of Herpen’s collections that were inspired by nature, such as celestial bodies, aquatic ecosystems and the movement of the human body. Herpen describes her designs as “micro-architectures,” works that change and shift with movement to create a variety of textures and transparency, notes the release.

Cosmica” minidress made in collaboration with Kim Keever, from the 2019 “Shift Souls” collection.

Born in the village of Wamel in the Netherlands, Herpen practiced classical dance from an early age, and that is where she formed her relationship with clothing and the human body. Her work is inspired by multiple fields, including art, chemistry, dance, physics, architecture, biology, design and technology. 

Herpen founded her label, the Maison of Iris van Herpen, in 2007. In 2010, she presented her first 3D-printed dress from the “Crystallization” collection, which is currently preserved by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 

“Epicycle” dress from the 2019 “Hypnosis” collection, made in collaboration with Philip Beesley. The dress is made from polyethylene terephthalate glycol, glass organza, Mylar and crepe.

The designs are featured alongside contemporary works by artists such as Philip Beesley, the Collectif Mé, Wim Delvoye, Kate MccGwire, Damien Jalet and others. The exhibit also features several skeletons and fossils that represent the natural world.  

The exhibition is on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until April 28, 2024. 

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