Wild Young Minds: 'The New Craft' - Iris van Herpen

Friday, July 29, 2011

'The New Craft' - Iris van Herpen

You better keep your eyes on this Dutch girl. Iris van Herpen is her name and she's extremely talented. Her work is an incredible mix of futuristic and organic designs. She has done an internship at Alexander McQueen (I recognise his influences very well, since I've seen his exhibition 'Savage Beauty' in the MET last May) and she has famous fans like Lady Gaga. On top of that, she's a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture, which only has 11 members, among who Dior, Chanel and Viktor & Rolf. Yesterday, I went to see her exhibition in the Central Museum in Utrecht: 'The New Craft'. The quality of my photos isn't great because my lovely brother (ahum) took my camera on his Europe trip, so I had to use an old one.

As a kid, I used to hate museums. Art was so boring and it didn't attract me at all. Nowadays, I actually like to go to museums. Well, some museums. Okay, some exhibitions. Especially fashion exhibitions. As I said, I saw Alexander McQueen's 'Savage Beauty' recently and I was dying to see the works of Iris van Herpen for real.

I had already seen some of her work in magazines, for example the 3D dress which was printed by a 3D printer in Belgium. Layer for layer the dress was made and the result is astonishing. We got to see the actual dress and a 3D printer, so we had an idea of the process.

Besides works of Iris van Herpen (there were about 10 dresses and some other designs for a dance show), there was also a lot of old art. Silverwork of the 17th and 18th century, furniture, gold leather, wallpapers and more. That was part of her inspiration. Other influences were the people she worked with: Nanine Linning, Kris Kuksi and Stephen Jones (the famous hat designer). So we also saw beautiful hats, the craziest wigs and short films of dance performances.

The masterpiece of the collection were a pair of shoes for me. They were designed by Iris van Herpen for United Nude and looked like the crab shoes Alexander McQueen once designed. Only these shoes were black with golden layers. A-MA-ZING. Seriously, I would consider buying them, even though they cost 1000 euros..

Unfortunately, the exhibition wasn't very big. We had seen everything in a half hour, I think. And what we saw was only for 50% made by Iris van Herpen. We received little information about her pieces. I saw designs with feathers, leather and all kinds of materials but I didn't know anything about it. Whereas we did receive a lot of information about her influences. Regretful...

But I have to say, what we saw was gorgeous. You can't really imagine someone would actually wear her designs, it's more like art to me, but she did make everything flexible. She followed the curves of a human's body and made it very futuristic. Chapeau.

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