The fierce fashion of Iris Van Herpen is all about pushing the boundaries of the term fashion – adding to and twisting the normal conventions – to create wearable, visual art. And this she does in wonderful extremes. Beautiful, crazy, intense, exotic, fantastic and outlandish – all adjectives which justly describe her masterpieces. They are assemblage, sculpture, painting, and conceptual design all molded into one media – one that Iris and a small handful of others in the fashion world own. We just love the David Bowie eyes in the last image, a great touch.
Link to Iris Van Herpen’s website
As every aspiring fashion designer at the art academy, Van Herpen learned to work with soft fabric. She quickly felt limited by fabric, as she wanted to build, construct, and sculpt with the materials of which she created her designs. This forced her, already early on, to experiment with other materials, and later on to develop materials that approached her concept the closest. Taken this into consideration, it is not surprising that ‘sculptural’ is a term much used to describe her work, and, indeed, the designs can function very well on their own as sculptures, as several exhibitions on her work have proven. Yet, the designs remain clothes they are not wearable sculptures, because there is another essential aspect to be taken into consideration: Van Herpen’s love for the body in movement. The design is only realized in equal interaction with the body. Van Herpen’s designs follow, complete, and change the body and the emotions that accompany it, when simultaneously the body adapts and adopts the new forms. Movement is key. It is of decisive importance for the ultimate design how a moving body reacts on a piece of clothing and, vice versa, how a piece of clothing behaves when worn. – Via Wikipedia
“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very closely related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting. In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just functional and devoid of content or a commercial tool. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly be an added value to the world, that it is timeless and that its consumption can be less important then its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.” – Iris Van Herpen