iris van herpen exhibition pays tribute to her haute couture at musée des arts décoratifs paris

iris van herpen exhibition pays tribute to her haute couture at musée des arts décoratifs paris

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Iris van Herpen exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

 

Ethereal is a way to describe the unearthly haute couture pieces of Iris van Herpen. From her flowing, cyberspace-inspired garments to the otherworldly designs of her growing collections, Iris van Herpen has firmly established her signature style in the creative industry. A recent homage to her over 100 selected pieces on display at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs serves as a fitting tribute to her meticulous and often indescribable works. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to learn more about Iris van Herpen’s haute couture from November 29th, 2023 until April 28th, 2024.

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
Iris van Herpen, Frozen Falls dress and headdress, “Syntopia” collection, 2018 | images courtesy of Musée des Arts Décoratifs | photo © Dominique Maitre

 

 

Showcasing over 100 haute couture pieces

 

Titled Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses, the extensive exhibition spotlights the way the couturière embraces the varying forms of art, design, and technologies as it investigates many of the haute couture works she has produced. Some of these pieces are displayed in dialogue with the works of contemporary art by artists including Philip Beesley, the Collectif Mé, Wim Delvoye, Kate MccGwire, Damien Jalet, Kohei Nawa, Casey Curran, Rogan Brown, Jacques Rougerie, and design pieces by Neri Oxman, Ren Ri, Ferruccio Laviani, and Tomáš Libertíny.

 

The entire collection also showcases items from the spheres of the natural sciences, such as skeletons and fossils, which may be reminiscent of Iris van Herpen’s well of influences. The Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs is presented within the Christine & Stephen A. Schwarzman Galleries. It is curated by Cloé Pitiot and assistant curator Louise Curtis, with the scenography entrusted to the Studio Nathalie Crinière. The retrospective exhibition of and for Iris van Herpen is centered around nine themes, all of which resonate with the artistry, craftsmanship, curatorial skills, and wonders of the designer.

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
David Uzochukwu for Iris van Herpen, Hydrozoa Dress, Sensory Seas Collection, 2020 | photo © Iris van Herpen private collection

 

 

The retrospective exhibition opens with the theme of water and the origins of life, two nuances that are quite omnipresent in the designer’s work. From the lens focusing on water, the theme of skeleton springs up next, where the Skeleton dress on view recalls the hybrid skeleton of a work by Japanese artist Heishiro Ishino, a metaphor for a Gothic cathedral. Visitors continue walking until they enter the sensory world crafted through the photographs by Tim Walker and a sculpture by Matthew Harrison.

 

As Iris van Herpen’s exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs draws near to its end, the visitors are shrouded with her haute couture, projected as if they were in the cosmos. Looking up, the designer’s dresses dance across the sky, with bodies floating through space and time. The photographic works of artist Kim Keever accompany the cosmic experience as well as images of nebulae, both of which invite the visitors to immerse themselves into a meditative state and see the world in a holistic fashion.

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
David Uzochukwu for Iris van Herpen, Sensory Seas Dress & Nautiloid Dress, Sensory Seas Collection, 2020 | photo © Iris van Herpen private collection

 

 

A look inside Iris van Herpen’s Atelier

 

As the curtains to Iris van Herpen’s retrospective exhibition nearly draw, three remaining spaces greet the visitors to visually express their final haute couture flair. An evocation of Iris van Herpen’s studio marches in first, the area allowing visitors to put on the designer’s creative and thinking hat as they are guided through the atelier and hundreds of sample materials in the room. It is an attempt to look into the designer’s process of making her clothing.

 

A cabinet of curiosities shows up in the second space, spotlighting Iris van Herpen and her atelier’s accessories, ranging from shoes and masks to hairstyling items. These objects are featured alongside elements from the natural sciences and videos documenting their background and accompanying the presentation.

 

Lastly, a room celebrating the living and moving body makes its way. Here, a series of videos play Iris van Herpen’s runway shows in the past, bringing the retrospective exhibition full circle by bringing up her previous collections. The exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which runs until April 28th, 2024 in Paris, is accompanied by a composition created by Salvador Breed where the soundscape challenges the senses and further immerses the visitor in this journey around the body and the themes close to the designer.

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
Warren du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones for Iris van Herpen — Cosmica Dress, in collaboration with Kim Keever (print) Shift Souls Collection, 2019 | photo © Iris van Herpen private collection

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Carla van de Puttelaar for Iris van Herpen, Various collections, 2020 | photo © Iris van Herpen private collection

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
Iris van Herpen, in collaboration with Kim Keever, Cosmica minidress, “Shift Souls” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
Iris van Herpen, Symbiotic dress, “Shift Souls” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre

iris van herpen exhibition musée des arts décoratifs
Iris van Herpen, in collaboration with Philip Beesley, Hypnosis Dress and cape, “Hypnosis” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre

iris-van-herpen-sculpting-the-senses-exhibition-musée-des-arts-décoratifs-paris-haute-couture-designboom-ban

Carla van de Puttelaar for Iris van Herpen — Various collections, 2020 | photo © Iris van Herpen private collection

 

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Iris van Herpen, Epicycle dress, “Hypnosis” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen, Epicycle dress, “Hypnosis” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen, Suminagashi dress, “Hypnosis” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen, Suminagashi dress, “Hypnosis” collection, 2019 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen — In collaboration with Perry Hall Fractal Flows dress “Sensory Seas” collection, 2020 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen — In collaboration with Perry Hall Fractal Flows dress “Sensory Seas” collection, 2020 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen, in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise, Crystallization top and skirt, “Crystallization” collection, 2010 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen, in collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise, Crystallization top and skirt, “Crystallization” collection, 2010 | photo © Dominique Maitre
Iris van Herpen — In collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise Crystallization top and skirt, “Crystallization” collection, 2010 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière
Iris van Herpen — In collaboration with Daniel Widrig and Materialise Crystallization top and skirt, “Crystallization” collection, 2010 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière
Rogan Brown — Fallen Angel Wings 2014 | photo © Rogan Brown
Rogan Brown — Fallen Angel Wings 2014 | photo © Rogan Brown
Wim Delvoye — Nautilus, 2017 | photo © Adagp, Paris
Wim Delvoye — Nautilus, 2017 | photo © Adagp, Paris
Janaina Mello Landini, Ciclotrama 310 (from the Superstrato series), 2023 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière
Janaina Mello Landini, Ciclotrama 310 (from the Superstrato series), 2023 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière
Ferruccio Laviani — Gothik-A Cabinet, 2022 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière
Ferruccio Laviani — Gothik-A Cabinet, 2022 | photo © Les Arts Décoratifs / Christophe Dellière

project info:

 

name: Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses

designer: Iris van Herpen

museum: Musée des Arts Décoratifs

location: 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

dates: November 29th, 2023 until April 28th, 2024

curation: Cloé Pitiot, Louise Curtis

scenography: Studio Nathalie Crinière

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