Photography by Francois Durand/Getty

A New Iris van Herpen Retrospective is Coming to Toronto

Iris van Herpen, the Dutch designer who creates distinctive, otherworldly garments using unexpected materials, will have her own retrospective exhibition titled Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, arriving at the Royal Ontario Museum this June.

Van Herpen is widely considered to be one of the most boundless and pioneering couture designers working in contemporary fashion. Her somewhat esoteric work combines the influence of natural elements with forays into forward thinking technology – she was the first designer to ever include a 3D printed dress in one of her collections. In 2014, she was chosen to be the artist-in-residence at CERN, the Swiss particle physics laboratory that houses the Hadron collider, a powerful particle accelerator with the power to destroy Earth.

“Over the past decade, Iris van Herpen has pushed the boundaries of fashion and craftsmanship with futuristic designs that combine tradition with radical innovation,” said Josh Basseches, the ROM’s Director and CEO in a statement. “Heralded as one of the pioneering new voices in fashion, we’re delighted to bring Iris van Herpen’s work to the Museum.”

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is not only a fascinating and beautiful exhibition, it’s also an important presentation for visitors to see, understand, and negotiate the roles of skilled craftwork and thinking in our confusing age of technology. This complex and intertwined relationship of hand and machine resonates throughout the history of textiles and fashion,” added Dr. Alexandra Palmer, the ROM’s Nora E. Vaughan Senior Curator.

The exhibition was organized by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands, where van Herpen is from. The ROM will be the final stop on the exhibition’s tour.

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion will run from June 2nd, 2018 to October 8th, 2018.