Back to the previous page

Iris Van Herpen: a multi dimensional artist

September 04 2019

Iris Van Herpen, multi talented Dutch fashion designer, awarded at the Andam Prize, STARTS Prize, appearing in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, is now designing a whole new building: the extension to the natural history museum in Leiden (Netherlands), the Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Her collaboration with Neutelings Riedijk Architects and the creation process they went through made her realize building fashion and building infrastructures had many similarities:

"Of course there are differences between fashion and architecture, but there are so many similarities as well.
Each good piece of architecture or fashion searches to find a new understanding and discovery, on a conceptual level, on the level of materiality, on the level of techniques and on the level of beauty.(...) The intention really was not to go away from my couture process too much, but instead to still it, and to disembody it.
To create the form Van Herpen looked at numerous stone formations and fossils within the museum's immense collection, 42 million pieces will be on display, as well as travelling to see formations in situ.
{"I looked intensely at many various rock formations. I went to Tenerife for example to see the volcanic rock formations and to other areas to see the stages within erosion, how water re-sculpts the beautiful rock details throughout thousands of years (...) Watching these textures is like time travelling. This eternalised life in stone is breathtaking, these frozen forms moved me to think of stone as a drapy material, like fabric. {I started to think about architecture like the archaeology of a dress. »

"Both fashion and architecture can give us a new space to move our thoughts around in, an unfamiliar space in which to imagine."