Bespoke Couture Design
THE ART OF HAUTE COUTURE
At Iris van Herpen, Haute Couture is governed by art, craftsmanship, innovation and personalisation. From gala dinners to red carpet events, premières to weddings, our customised designs bring our clientele’s sophisticated vision to life, harnessing the highest echelon of craftsmanship and innovation, creating visionary gowns which are suitable for any occasion, style or body. Each unique creation is guided at every step by Ms Iris van Herpen and the petit mains at our atelier based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Our bespoke designs are meticulously crafted embracing the maison’s unique codes that celebrate movement and femininity — inspired by the natural world.
“I believe in exploring new forms of craftsmanship, and in adding to the evolution of craftsmanship from all the thousands of people before me. I hope that I can show that craftsmanship and technology are not opposites and that they can really go hand-in-hand” - Iris van Herpen
CRAFTMANSHIP MEETS INNOVATION
Iris van Herpen’s design approach creates a distinctive aesthetic. Respecting forgotten construction techniques and expanding them with tools that are technologically available today defines the designer’s work. Both the past and the future find a place in Van Herpen’s creations seemingly becoming one. Traditional Couture techniques, like hand-stitching, embroidering, or draping, lie at the core of the maison’s craft. Yet by developing and experimenting novel and innovative materials, previously unthinkable notions of Haute Couture are weaved into the creative process. Van Herpen seamlessly blends delicate handwork with radical forward-facing technologies such as laser-cutting, injection moulding, magnetic weaving or 3D printing to create unparalleled patterns and silhouettes. In 2011, the 3D printed ’Escapism’ dress was recognised and heralded by TIME Magazine as one of the 50 best inventions, propelling the maison to international heights.
Each design epitomises the synergy between hand and material. Instead of hand-sketching, Van Herpen’s design philosophy is guided by intuition, curiosity and movement. Luxurious fabrics which are oftentimes directly draped on a mannequin by hand mark the starting point of the creative work — carefully feeling and exploring the material’s possibility. From its early days, the brand thrived for its unique language within the fashion system. A brand that doesn’t limit itself to the industry norms but continues to grow by the influence of various fields — from sculpture to mathematics, poetry to astronomy, nature and philosophy. The scope for imagination is perpetual through the eyes of Iris van Herpen.
The Iris van Herpen Haute Couture atelier is located in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The atelier is not a production workshop but rather, an alchemic laboratory that fuses fresh ideas with new techniques. Our approach to realising the designs embrace the technology available to us today as opposed to yesteryear. Our atelier consists of graphics, tailoring, embroidery and material development teams. The specialised teams take laser-cutting and 3D printing as seriously as they do with pattern cutting and draping. Through investing in research and development, the atelier at Iris van Herpen believes in pioneering the fashion of tomorrow. The results are personalised gowns which enchant through their sophisticated silhouettes, utilising meticulously selected fabrics and refined technological aspects which strive to set new standards.
In order to guarantee the highest quality of our gowns, Iris van Herpen calls upon thoughtful collaborations with scientists from all stripes. For instance, through ultrasonic welding, the atelier creates seams without stitching, using acoustic vibrations and high pitches of sound to connect the molecules of the material, leaving immaculate trains of fabric. Other times, innovative blends of magnetic powder and liquid silicone are used to shape outstanding 3D textures. As part of the ‘Glitch’ technique — cultivated throughout various Couture collections — the finest lace is intricately laser-cut into thousands of 0.5mm 'harmonica waves’ evoking a dance of quivering echos that optically construct an interconnectedness with the skin.
“My work is exactly the opposite of what generally fashion is today. I go back to forgotten craftsmanship and the love for handwork, and at the same time I’m embedding new technologies and collaborations with artists, architects, and scientists” - Iris van Herpen
A COUTURE PROCESS
The Haute Couture process commences with a creative consultation to understand your needs, preferences and desires. Based on the information received, we will design a curated selection with options that vary in colour, form, details and materials for you to choose from. Once the design is refined and chosen, the toile fittings will take place to ensure every fine detail is perfected before construction commences.
Each Iris van Herpen Couture gown is designed based on your personal measurements. Our team of skilled seamstresses will measure you during the creative consultation to personalise your gown to ensure the perfect fit. Using your measurements the atelier will construct a personalised mannequin on which the design will be shaped, sculpted, and transformed to come to life.
The design is fully handcrafted and can take up anywhere from 700 to 1500 hours for it to being created as every detail is finessed. During the final appointment, the atelier will help with fitting the gown on your body and adjust the finishing touches.