Iris van Herpen @ROMToronto

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

Yesterday was the end of a long weekend here, and what better way to spend it than in jaw-dropping admiration of Iris van Herpen’s work at the Royal Ontario Museum?  The exhibit was split over two galleries – one in conjunction with Philip Beesley, a Canadian architect who has collaborated with Iris.  His work is another post altogether.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

It was fascinating to see her creations up close.  There were even portions of the gallery that held samples which we were actually allowed to touch.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

This is a piece of the material used in one of her more recent collections.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum
It’s a metallic fabric.  I was expecting something much sharper, stiffer and harsher than it actually was. #irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

One could wear this fabric quite comfortably, although I’m not sure about sitting in the garment. I’m not sure if the oxidation was done prior to construction, but look at that perfect matching down the invisible zipper at the CB!  Ms. van Herpen worked with Alexander McQueen for a while, and her first collections were done entirely by hand.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

It was an extraordinary way to spend an afternoon, and if you are in the Toronto area in the next few weeks, I would strongly encourage you to see this exhibit. I think the Refinery Smoke dresses were my favourite.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

DD3’s favourite was the dress made of leather and small chains with a plastic water ‘splash’ worn around the neck.  She said it embodied everything she felt as a swimmer diving into the water.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

Here is a close up of the dress.

#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

This lovely little black and copper number was my favourite.  I could seriously see myself wearing this one.
#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

If I remember correctly, the fabric is a heavy wool with the leather hand-sewn onto the garment. If you click on each picture, you will connect through to my Flickr album where there are several other photos of her garments.  Some of her pieces were incredibly macabre (not my cup of tea), but I could not help but admire her creativity.  There were also several videos of her working on some of the dresses (pieces of wearable art, imho!), and I was struck by her patience – the losing of herself in the creative process.  I must say, I don’t have that ability to get ‘lost’ while sewing… my mind is always going somewhere else or thinking about so many things!  Can you imagine making something like this:
#irisvanherpen #transformingfashion #royalontariomuseum #designimpossible #RoyalOntarioMuseum

Each strip of plastic is sewn on individually.  By hand.  Incredible!

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10 thoughts on “Iris van Herpen @ROMToronto

  1. Amazing. I’ve seen a couple of her dresses up close at the V and A but we haven’t had a whole exhibition anywhere I’ve been able to get to. How wonderful to be able to see this.

  2. I went to see this when visiting Toronto back in June and was truly wowed by her talent and originality. So amazing!

  3. Wow! The pantience and craftsmanship!!! Must be impressive to see all these different techniques and materials! I saw a handful of her dresses at an exhibition here in the Hague, but they were only the 3D printer dresses that looklike exoskeletons/bones. And we definitely didnt get to touch anything… I resorted to stomping back and forth in front of the dresses to try to devine how they would move by looking at how they vibrated… 🙂 i hope the Toronto exhibition will travel to Europe afterwards. Thanks for all the photos!

    1. It was very interesting watching some of the interviews with her. She often changes directions when she begins working with materials, as they pretty much dictate what they can and can’t do!

  4. Amazing! I can almost touch them through the screen. I wonder what it says about me that I would want to wear the refinery smoke dresses!?

    I take your point about the patience to do that fine work. Something to think about. I think I have it sometimes but that is taking it to another level.

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