Couture of The Future: Iris Van Herpen

Iris Van Herpen is a fashion designer from Netherlands. Her work is avant-garde, posthumanist, and extremely futuristic. With her and her team’s execute craftsmanship and vision, the House of Iris Van Herpen portrayed in numerous runway shows, and countless artists wore her exquisite designs.


From “Roots of Rebirth” collection, source.

Van Herpen’s Vision

The thought and plans that go into an Iris van Herpen piece is unmatched. She takes elements of various fields and practices. Her work features 3D printing, architecture, even marine ecology, for her collection called “Sensory Seas”. Moreover, Iris van Herpen’s interdisciplinary approach and avant-garde touch allows her to create patterns and structures that are signature for her brand, and makes the pieces stand out.


From “Hypnosis” collection, source.


Iris van Herpen’s pieces are recognizable by their movement, their similarities between the piece and architecture, nature, dance. Also, they go beyond understanding that the human experience is detatched from nature or technology completely.

“I want to give new meaning to couture — give it relevance in the age of technology. I see couture as the laboratory of the bigger picture of fashion and my aim is to show that couture is not about yesterday. I hope to make Haute Couture the engine of progress in our rapidly changing digital age.” – Iris van Herpen


Inspirations and Materials

Since human existence is not the center of Iris Van Herpen’s world, she finds inspiration from the nature and the future. Her three latest collections represent different aspects and perspectives of life. Firstly, her AW 19/20 collection called Hypnosis, draws inspirations from ” the hypnotic manifolds within our ecologies through the work of American artist Anthony Howe”. Van Herpen and Howe both worked together in this collection to create beautiful kinetic sculptures that expresses Howe’s spherical “Omniverse”.


From “Hypnosis” collection, source.


Secondly, the SS 20 collection, “Sensory Seas”, is about the sensory processes that happen in the human body, and our central nervous system. But, with the help of  the Spanish neuroanatomist Ramón y Cajal, Van Herpen succesfully uses marine ecology of the oceans to mirror those processes back to us.


From “Sensory Seas” collection, source.


Lastly, the latest collection “Roots of Rebirth”, Iris Van Herpen “the designer explores a symbiosis of high technology and the artisanal craftsmanship of couture, through a collection that references the intricacy of fungi and the entanglement of life that breathes beneath our feet”.


From “Roots of Rebirth” collection, source.


To materialize her ideas, she uses both organic and inorganic materials. Some of them being 3D printed, and the rest most used are “dragon skin, synthetic boat rigging or the whalebones of children’s umbrellas”.

You can see more Iris Van Herpen collections and more information on the meanings of them from their website, which we also used as a source for this article. Click here for the website. 

For more high fashion content on Artleove, you can use the tag “fashion” or go on to read “Avant-Garde Fashion: Complications of Identification”.


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