So I went back to the GRAM for another look at Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion
(yes it is interesting enough to warrant a second look!)
And I took the time this time to watch the footage of her runway shows. On mannequins, the dresses have a beautiful fascination, but when you watch someone try to move in them, you get a grasp of their absolute absurd ridiculousness.
Honestly, these women look so uncomfortable and miserable. Mostly it's the shoes. The insane heelless shoes. I simply cannot get over them. I can't stop watching these 9-foot-tall toothpicks wobbling down the runway. And when someone is concentrating that hard on simply walking forward, it becomes less sexy and more degrading.So please, go see the show and enjoy it as art and sculpture, be awed by the materials, but I'm going to stop referring to the pieces as clothes now!
Original post published December 22nd, 2016
If you find yourself in Grand Rapids during the next few weeks, I must urge you to check out the Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
On display, are about 100 innovative pieces from Iris van Herpen, a cutting-edge fashion designer from the Netherlands. The stunning craftsmanship of Van Herpen's work is not overshadowed by her use of unorthodox materials, such as umbrellas and metal screens. But she is perhaps best known for creating the world's first 3-D-printed couture fashions.
The 3-D printed clothes, don't look particularly comfortable and I don't anticipate seeing them hanging in our closets anytime soon, but they don't fail to enrapture. The futuristic styles compliment the human form in an organic manner, yet create designs that function more like sculpture than apparel.
Van Herpen revealed her first collection in 2007, after graduating from the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in the Netherlands. Since then, her work has appeared on international runways and she has designed couture pieces for fashion powerhouses such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Bjork.Van Herpen believes "Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression." This exhibition features outfits, while outrageously "different", are undeniable beautiful.
The GRAM exhibition continues until January 15th. I cannot recommend a visit strongly enough. For a listing of hours of operation, visit artmuseumgr.org.