ICONICA : Iris Van Herpen

Happy Friday beloveds! What better way to spend the morning than thoroughly immersing myself in the world of one of my absolute favourite artisans of couture, the stunning and talented Iris Van Herpen.
4The talented Dutch designer has an innovative take on avant-garde fashion- taking it to the max! Iris van Herpen represents to me everything a great couture designer should: flamboyant, artistic and meticulously constructed garments that contain a myriad of elements that are, to put it simply, out-of-this-world: the stuff of dreams (or maybe a beautiful nightmare), turned into a tangible reality.
“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting”
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Van Herpen was born in the Netherlands in the early 80s. Studying ballet at a young age started her relationship with movement and the body. While in school, her passions transformed from dance into a more tangible artistic outlet and she began to create hand-made wearable art.

The designer studied at the prominent Artez Institute of the Arts, Arnhem, and interned at Alexander McQueen in London and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam. Their influences pervade throughout in her style and techniques. For her first few years as a designer she worked solely with her hands, shying away from even a sewing machine.

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In 2007, she started her own label and has sky-rocketed since with her truly individual and jaw-dropping style. Having shown her collections at Paris, London and Amsterdam fashion weeks, she last year won the Golden Eye Award at the Dutch Design Awards 2013 for her collection Voltage –  focusing on the body’s tangible movement and strength and exploring the ‘electricity of the body’.

She is known for her exceptional use of material and renewing forms. The avant-garde spirit of her designs combines raw and technologically-produced materials, fused with amazing, highly detailed craftsmanship and innovative techniques, such as 3D printing and plastics. The combination of quality hand-worked materials – burnt metal weaving, laser cutting and metal silk – and the sublime effect of digital technology give her unique couture a complex, sculptured effect with an astonishing visual impact.

As her work began to embrace technology at a deeper level, Van Herpen discovered she could push the boundaries of what fashion can do. She crafts an absolutely enchanting and unique world full of complexity structure and elegance. The designs seem to me to be biomorphic; infused with some sort of magical Geiger-like essence; at once flowing and organic on the other hand exacting, architectural, complex, detailed and angular.

“In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art”

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Here’s to the great Iris ven Herpen! I hope to see much more of your truly inspiring work over the years to come- truly amazing.




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