The New Craftsmanship
Iris van Herpen
and her Inspiration
“With my work I intend to show that fashion
can certainly have an added value to the world”
In the Centraal Museum of Utrecht, Netherlands, renowned fashion designer/artist Iris van Herpen (1984) exhibits a highly personal side of her work for the public from 29 June until 9 October 2011. By contrasting her designs with what worked as the inspiration behind them, van Herpen’s futuristic approach to fashion is displayed with art dating back to the sixteenth to the nineteenth century creating an unusual opposition in the general mood of the show. In addition to a contrast between old and new, one will also find work by other contemporary artists that have inspired van Herpen or collaborated with her. These include artists such as American-born sculptor Kris Kuksi; Dutch choreographer Nanine Linning; hat designers Stephen Jones and Irene Bussemaker; Dutch artist Bart Hess who shares van Herpen’s futuristic approach in his work; and architect Daniel Widrig whose main influence in the show was with 3D printing. Upon entering the exhibition one enters a calm space with soft music playing in the background. Looking up towards the high raised ceiling you can see Nanine Linning’s opera inspired performance piece with van Herpen’s extravagant costumes and haute couture creations in larger than life projections on the bare white walls. Below these displays one would find the original costumes as seen in the performance. Referring back to the contrast between old and new, or rather ancient and innovative, it was interesting to note which of van Herpen’s designs were paired up with what ancient artefact and why. Leaving the theatricality of Linning behind, the show carries you away from the modernity of projectors through to a series of antique items including a bookshelf, chairs and tables as well as paintings by the popular Parisian painter Pierre Joseph Sauvage and an expensive silk wall panel from Lyon...
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