Sunday, January 10, 2016


 [Center] Refinery Smoke dress (July 2008) at Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Style at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

Winter holidays present the perfect opportunity to pack the posse into my momma's 'mobile and road trip 2,000+ miles from NYC to Atlanta. Besides the prospect of Bojangle's buttermilk biscuits and southern style sweet tea, an exceptional exhibit on science + style make the High Museum a formidable final destination. Inside, Iris Van Herpen's first North American show, Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Styleaffords its audience a breathtaking look into the Dutch designer's creative process. Keep reading for pictures inside the exhibit...

[L] Refinery Smoke / Capriole collection (2008); [C + L] Mummification collection (2009)

Over 3 levels of the High Museum's Anne Cox Chambers wing (est. 2005), oxidation, fractals, crystallization, magnetism and more are captured in a combination of exquisitely hand-crafted and partially 3D-printed costumes. 45 ensembles from 15 collections bring to life classic concepts from science class. Van Herpen's collections exemplify an evolutionary experience over the last 8 years, since her graduation from ArtEZ Institute in the Netherlands. Evidencing multidisciplinary collaboration with scientists, architects and design firms, Van Herpen breaks the barricade between style and science, quickly rising as the Queen of collectible couture.

Voltage collection (2013)

New technology transforms from a "cool concept" into a true feat of fashion as 3D printed thermoplastic polyurethane 92A-1 (TPU 92 A-1), resin with iron filings, dual coated leather, transparent photopolymer, steel blended silk and other futuristic fabrics form the foundation of Van Herpen's collections. At the exhibit entrance, iconic looks from Refinery Smoke (July 2008) illustrate the dynamic and elusive properties of industrial smog. In considering a means of manufacturing a "wearable" smoke, Van Herpen creates a woven metal gauze that exudes fluidity, despite its stiff properties. The original silver gray color oxidizes over time to arrive at a reddish brown.

Voltage collection

While 'high-low' collaborations between designers and fast fashion retailers have increased over the last couple years, Van Herpen has decided instead to partner with major forces in science and technology to develop distinct fashion. Embracing technology as a means for innovation--and not as much a source of inspiration--Van Herpen's creative process often involves a mixture of handicraft and scientific originality. The standout Magnetic Motion dress (Sept 2014) was created in collaboration with Philip Beesley after a visit to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. After viewing the world's largest partial accelerator--the Large Hadrop Collider (LHC)--Van Herpen employed stereolithography and UV light to craft glass-like strapless dress from virtually transparent resin.

[L, C] Magnetic Motion collection; [R] Crystallization skirt + Top -- the 1st 3D printed outfit to be sent down a commercial runway

Among show highlights, the Crystallization collection includes the first 3D printed dress shown on a runway and an ECCO leather dress with a realistic water collar made of polyethelyne terephthalate. A wispy dress pushes the boundaries of 3D printing from Van Herpen's Biopiracy collection. Symbolic of the dead, dried and chemically fixated specimens captured by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) technology in the photos of science photographer Steve Gschmeissner, the Micro Haute Couture collection (January 2012) includes a dress comprised of 3D printed polyamide with art-copper treatment and other impressive items. Intertwined throughout the exhibit are videos, hands-on experiences and accessories (e.g. shoes in collaboration with United Nude).

Biopiracy collection (2014)

Iris Van Herpen: Transforming Style is showing at the High Museum in Atlanta until May 15, 2016. Read more about Iris and view past collections on her site.    

Wilderness collection (July 2013)

[L] Hybrid Holism collection (2012); [R] Hacking Infinity collection (2015)

Biopiracy collection

Crystallization collection (July 2010)

[L] Escapism collection (2011); [R] Chemical Crows collection (January 2008)

Crystallization dress + collar (July 2010)

Micro Haute Couture collection (January 2012)

Capriole (July 2011)

Mummification collection information 

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