IrisVanHerpen Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Vienna © Swarovski Kristallwelten
Iris van Herpen is regarded as the most avant-garde fashion designer in the world, whose creations not only inspire people on catwalks, but also in museums. They cause a sensation, worn by stars such as Beyoncé, Cate Blanchett, and Lady Gaga.
The cubes of the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Wien, which jut out over the bustling street in the middle of Kärntner Straße, turn out to be the ideal stage for Iris van Herpen, the Haute Couture designer from the Netherlands who is internationally renowned for the futuristic drama of her collections. Her trademark avant-garde dresses look like sculptures but play with movement at the same time. Van Herpen is known for her pioneering work in utilizing 3D printing technology in fashion design.
“Iris van Herpen, with her unmistakable combination of innovative technologies and traditional craftsmanship, succeeds in surprising her audience with every new project. This constant renewal is also a maxim of Swarovski Kristallwelten,” says Stefan Isser, Managing Director of D. Swarovski Tourism Services GmbH, who is pleased with the cooperation.
BIOMORPHISM: IRIS VAN HERPEN’S SURREAL DANCE WITH NATURE
Iris van Herpen takes her inspiration for the work called “Biomorphism” from living organisms and patterns found in nature. She forms them into hypnotic installations in which she demonstrates the performance of femininity. Originally from the world of fashion design, van Herpen’s installations for the Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Wien use a wide variety of media to express the basic themes of movement and transformation. The installations are realized in collaboration with Rhea Thierstein.
Influences from biology, dance, physics in connection with technology can be felt to various degrees in the five installations. The Swarovski Kristallwelten Store Wien offers an impressive panorama of the thoughts and skills of the most forward-thinking designer of our time.
“Each of the stages is an ode to the power of the infinite, to countless changes within us. They are a very personal expression of my fascination for dance, nature, and surrealism,” says Iris van Herpen, explaining her vision.
THE FIVE ART SPACES IN DETAIL
Lucid Dreams: The art space facing Kärntner Straße explores the phenomenon of lucid dreams and the fine line between reality and unreality. During a lucid dream, dreamers are aware that they are dreaming and can thus exercise a certain degree of control over the course of the dream. “In the design process, I see lucid dreams as a microscope to my subconscious, uniting reality and the dream,” Iris van Herpen shares her experience. Visualizing the invisible shows the larger-than-life glass sculpture of a face in which the ghostlycontours of a woman are visible.
Infinity: The “Infinity” dress consists of translucent white organza, from which a three-dimensional moiré Couture dress was sewn. The blowing air creates hypnotic, infinite patterns for the viewer.
Micro: The “Aeriform” dress is a sweeping dress made of fine tulle with thousands of hand-stitched leather circles decorated with filigree white pearls and hundreds of Swarovski 3D studs. These shiny metal rivets with crystals on different levels give each 3D surface an innovative, dynamic structure. This
installation is an endless explosion of movement in all directions, showing a dance of experimental craftsmanship and playfulness.
Cymatic: For this installation, van Herpen explores the study of cymatics, which visualizes sound waves as evolving geometric patterns. In cymatics, the higher the frequency of the sound wave, the more complex the visible patterns. Spinning image sculptures capture the different perspectives within each wave, in collaboration with visual artists Warren du Preez and Nick Thornton Jones.