High Museum of Art Premieres North American Tour of Iris van Herpen’s Innovative Haute Couture Designs


From November 7, 2015, to May 15, 2016, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art will showcase work by Iris van Herpen, a notable contemporary Dutch fashion designer whose cutting-edge designs draw inspiration from myriad forms of art, science, music, and philosophy.

The exhibition, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, organized in conjunction with the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands, features one-of-a-kind haute couture that combines traditional and futuristic methods of creation such as 3D printing. Van Herpen’s impressive, oft-sculptural designs are often composed of unusual materials like magnets, umbrella ribs, and synthetic boat rigging that, coupled with her variegated technique, call into question the relationship between the synthetic and organic. Her designs have been worn by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Bjork, and have graced runways in Amsterdam, London, and Paris.

“Iris van Herpen’s work is an incredible fusion of artistic expression, craftsmanship and creativity,” said Sarah Schleuning, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the High. “The marriage of traditional, handcrafted designs and 21st-century technology makes her work innovative, dynamic and a signifier of a bold, new future for fashion design.”

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion features outfits from 2008 to 2015, including 18 pieces from the designer’s six most recent lines, all displayed on custom mannequins. The exhibition’s wall texts explore van Herpen’s concepts, examining how intuition and imagination are central to her process.