Fashion innovator Iris Van Herpen to exhibit at GOMA

Synergia Series 2021
Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses will be on display at GOMA from June 29 - October 7. | Iris van Herpen (designer), Netherlands b.1984, Carla van de Puttelaar (photographer), Netherlands b.1967 / Synergia Series 2021 / Photograph: Carla van de Puttelaar / © Carla van de Puttelaar

By Susan Schwartz

In the world of fashion, there’s not much that hasn’t been done before – except for Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s fantastical creations.

More than 100 garments displaying her unique fusion of fashion, art, design, science and technology will be on display at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) from June 29 – October 7.

A true innovator, van Herpen’s sculptural forms combine cutting edge technology such as 3D modelling, digital fabrication, and laser cutting with traditional haute couture craftsmanship. Her designs reflect the intricacies and diversity of the natural world, exploring everything from marine biology to quantum physics.

She was the first designer to show a 3D printed dress on the runway, which gained her global recognition in 2010.

A custom piece by van Herpen can cost up to US$100,000 and take two years to finish.

Her experimental designs push the boundaries by exploring new fabrics created by blending steel with silk, or iron fillings with resin, and incorporating unexpected materials such as rubber, glass, organza, and silicone.

Exclusive to Brisbane, Iris van Herpen: Sculpting the Senses includes an evocation of the designer’s Amsterdam studio, revealing the stages of a dress in development, and a space dedicated to her fashion shows. The entire exhibition is accompanied by a new soundscape by artist Salvador Breed.

In addition to van Herpen’s garments, footwear and headpieces, the exhibition features some of her influences, such as shadow projections by Canadian media artist Philip Beesley, an explosion drawing by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, astronomical photographs, documentary footage of blooms of phytoplankton and fungal networks by Yann Arthus Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, colourful photographic abstractions by Kim Keever, haunting sculptures by David Spriggs, a kinetic artwork featuring 300 gold seed pods by Casey Curran, and two immersive installations by the Japanese art collective Mé.

The exhibit has been curated by Cloe Pitiot and Louise Curtis from Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, in collaboration with Nina Miall and Jacinta Giles from GOMA.

You can catch the exhibit daily from 10am-5pm. For tickets, click here. It will also open every Friday night from July 12 – October 4 from 5.30pm – 8.30pm. GOMA Friday nights are set to the backdrop of Brisbane’s best DJs, with drop-in drawing, film screenings and a stylish exhibition shop.

Guided tours are available to book, and Iris van Herpen herself will be talking about her exhibition on Saturday, July 6 from 10.30am-11.30am.