Iris van Herpen – Designer Extraordinarie

When you surf into Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s webpage and you read about her the first line that catches your eye is: “Normal rules don’t apply …..”. And when you see her clothes and creations you can see that that statement is completely true. Iris van Herpen has transcended clothes into a new sphere. We see the future of design in clothes but still with one eye in the rear view mirror. Everyone who has studied clothes design knows that without the knowledge of the human body and the knowledge of old techniques you stand quite flat.


Iris van Herpen studied at Artez Institute of the Arts Arnhem and one of her internships was with genius Alexander McQueen in London. You can clearly see that Alexander and Iris were cut from the same cloth because there are many similarities in their expressions and aesthetics. Iris van Herpen started her own label in 2007 and has since then sent waves of excitement through the fashion world.


Iris van Herpen uses a lot of 3D printed materials in her garments and has even shown a whole collection of clothes in such materials. That is one big reason why her creations are already shown at museums around the world and why she has customers like Lady Gaga and Björk on her client list. That is also why she is seen in material from all prominent trend institutes concerning what is happening and about what is to come in the future.


On her webpage she has the following quote about her thoughts about the design and production process:

“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body.
I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting.
In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commercial tool. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly have an added value to the world, that it can be timeless and that its consumption can be less important then its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression. ‘Form follows function’ is not a slogan with which I concur. On the contrary, I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.”

We have definitely not seen the last of Iris van Herpen and she will with assuridity dazzle us in the years to come.

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