High Museum to showcase Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen in fall ’15

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Iris van Herpen's "Refinery Smoke" (2008).
Iris van Herpen's  "Refinery Smoke" (2008).

Iris van Herpen’s “Refinery Smoke” (2008).

Atlanta will grow more fashion forward in fall 2015 with Thursday’s announcement from the High Museum of Art that it will host a major exhibition of cutting-edge Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen.

Opening next November, “Iris van Herpen” will mark the Atlanta museum’s first presentation of fashion design. The High also will become the first U.S. museum to present a major show by van Herpen.

If new to the American museum world, the designer has burned a distinct path through the fashion world. Style trendsetters including Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Bjork have worn her clothes, and her lines have been modeled on Amsterdam, London and Paris runways.

“Iris van Herpen” will feature will feature 45 outfits selected from 15 collections she designed from 2008 through 2015.

The designer is known for interweaving traditional handwork with of-the-moment 3D-printing technology (with examples to be included in the show), computer modeling and engraving. To create her futuristic haute couture, she has collaborated with architects, engineers and digital design specialists.

Iris van Herpen"s  "Chemical Crows" (January 2008) .

Iris van Herpen”s “Chemical Crows” (January 2008) .

Her sculptural designs often feature unusual materials such as magnets, umbrella ribs and synthetic boat rigging.

“Iris van Herpen’s work is an incredible fusion of artistic expression, craftsmanship and creativity,” High decorative arts and design curator Sarah Schleuning said. “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.”

van Herpen’s couture will be displayed on custom mannequins and accompanied by music and videos from her multimedia runway shows. Her words will be featured in accompanying wall texts, revealing the underlying concepts for each piece.

Co-organized with the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, the exhibit will make its U.S. debut at the High, where it will remain view through May 2016 before continuing on a North American tour.

More on Iris van Herpen

Biographical sketch provided by the High Museum: Iris van Herpen (b. 1984 in Warmel, the Netherlands) had an intuitive appreciation of fashion and art as a youth and became interested in designing clothes while attending the Preparatory Course Art & Design at the Artez Institute of the Arts Arnhem.

van Herpen went on to study Fashion Design at Artez and held internships with Alexander McQueen in London and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam. Her 2006 graduation collection “Machine Jewellery” demonstrated her interest in the visualization of elusive concepts and intangible elements and her inventiveness in material use and treatment. A year after graduating, van Herpen began designing womenswear collections under her own name.

Through her extensive interdisciplinary research and collaborations with other artists, van Herpen has developed a unique and avant-garde style aesthetic that has been lauded by Time magazine, InStyle and Women’s Wear Daily, among other notable publications.

In 2011, at age 27, she became the youngest member ever to join the exclusive official calendar of the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, and in 2014 she was awarded the highly prestigious ANDAM Award. Her designs are currently featured in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


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