IRIS VAN HERPEN : SCULPTING THE SENSES
Written by Mathieu Doublet.
The musée des Arts décoratifs (MAD) pays tribute to Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, now recognized as one of the most avant-garde figures of her generation. Organized as an immersive and sensory exploration into the designer’s universe, this retrospective merging fashion, contemporary art, design and science, revolves around eight themes that identify the very essence of van Herpen’s body of work. Founded in 2007, and now a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture, the Maison of Iris van Herpen is known for fusing technology and traditional Couture craftsmanship, as well as contemplating fashion as an interdisciplinary language and dynamic entity, which is frequently resonating in various collaborations with other creatives and thinkers, such as sculptor Anthony Howe or architect Philip Beesley. From micro to macro, the exhibition questions the place of the body in space, its relationship to clothing and its environment as well as its future in a rapidly changing world. Set in direct dialogue with a selection of contemporary works of art, installations, videos, photographs and works from natural history, the exhibition brings together a hundred dresses of Iris van Herpen, seeking new forms for feminity and challenging our notions of Haute Couture. An evocation of her Amsterdam studio and a space dedicated to her fashion shows complete the exhibition which, to be even more immersive, is fully accompanied by a sound work produced by the artist Salvador Breed.