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Iris van Herpen in Dubai at The cARTel

Futurist fashion

May Barber, Cofounder of The cARTel in Dubai, gave us a tour of the Van Herpen exhibition, the first presentation of the designer/artist’s collections in the Middle East. Video above: Iris Van Herpen “Hacking Infinity” AW 15/16.

The cARTel’s exhibition of futurist fashion by Iris van Herpen was the designer’s first show in the Middle East. The 3D printed designs involve interdisciplinary research, and she often collaborates with other artists and scientists. Van Herpen’s designs require a unique treatment of material or the creation of complete new materials, which involves interdisciplinary research and collaboration with other artists and scientists.










Iris van Herpen (born 5 June 1984) is a Dutch fashion designer. She studied Fashion Design at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts Arnhem and interned at Alexander McQueen in London, and Claudy Jongstra in Amsterdam. Van Herpen immediately caught the eye with notable shows. In 2007, she started her own label. Since July 2011, she is a guest member of the prestigious Parisian Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, which is part of the Fédération française de la couture. She participates in many international exhibitions and creates two collections a year.


Normal rules don’t apply…..Iris van Herpen stands for a reciprocity between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials. She mixes craftsmanship – using old and forgotten techniques with innovation and materials inspired on the world to come…”I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting. In all my work I try to make clear that fashion is an artistic expression, showing and wearing art, and not just a functional and devoid of content or commercial tool. With my work I intend to show that fashion can certainly have an added value to the world,  that it can be timeless and that its consumption can be less important then its beginning. Wearing clothing creates an exciting and imperative form of self-expression….”

“I find that forms complement and change the body and thus the emotion. Movement, so essential to and in the body, is just as important in my work. By bringing form, structure and  materials together in a new manner, I try to suggest and realize optimal tension and movement.”

Her designs require a unique treatment of material or the creation of complete new materials. For this reason, Van Herpen prefers interdisciplinary research and often collaborates with other artists or scientists.

COLLABORATIONS Iris van Herpen has collaborated with a number of artists from various disciplines, often on a recurring basis.

Artists/Architects: Philip Beesley, Benthem Crouwel Architects, Isaie Bloch, Irene Bussemaker, Carlos van Camp, Zach Gold, Bart Hess, Stephen Jones, Julia Koerner, Rem D. Koolhaas, Russell Maliphant, Neri Oxman, Heaven Tanudiredja, Noritaka Tatehana, Joost Vandebrug, Daniel Widrig, Jolan van der Wiel.

Musicians: Beyoncé, Salvador Breed, Björk, Grimes, Lady Gaga, Joey Yung

Photographers/Filmmakers: Pierre Debusschere, Zach Gold, Nick Knight, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Geoffrey Lillemon, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Todd Selby, Joost Vandebrug, Vincent van de Wijngaard

Choreographers: Nanine Linning, Benjamin Millepied

Special Projects: A Magazine, Daphne Guinness, Casey Legler, Tilda Swinton


IRIS VAN HERPEN Exhibition at The cARTel. Video by David Kominek.


The cARTel is the ultimate destination for cutting edge avant-grade fashion in the UAE. Situated in the heart of Dubai’s reinvented art scene in Al Qouz, this wearable art gallery and concept store is an exclusive platform for over 60 international designers to showcase and sell their work in an environment granting customers an all around alternative and luxurious shopping experience.

The cARTel creates a symbiosis between fashion and art; reflected in showcased items, the store’s interior aesthetics, and in the events curated regularly, which include fashion film screenings, fashion exhibitions and talks, to offer a dynamic fashion agenda throughout a year.Located in the heart of the art district of Al Serkal Avenue in Dubai – a combination of rugged industrial warehouses and high-end art galleries – its mission is to nurture talents in art and avant-garde fashion from across the globe.

Peter Richweisz,  Co-Founder & Creative Director May Barber, Co-Founder & Managing Director Shub Qureshi, Co-Founder

Contact details: Al Serkal Avenue, Unit 6, 17 street, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE Phone +971 (4) 388.43.41

Opening time: Sun-Thurs 10:00am to 8:00pm | Saturday 11:00am to 8:00pm



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