Iris van Herpen

Aug 2021 - Jan 2022

Who is Iris van Herpen?

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 molding, magnetic weaving or 3D printing to create unparalleled patterns and silhouettes.

Couture is meticulously crafted and garments are individually named. The Art of Haute Couture by Iris van Herpen stands for slow fashion, designing in a thoughtful and collaborative manner, utilizing approaches that are current, and paving the way for multidisciplinary designs that extend the imagination.

MET Gala

In September 2021, the MET Gala was celebrated with the theme “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.”

With Iris van Herpen, we had the chance to dress Grimes and Gabrielle Union with unique custom pieces and, Winnie Harlow, Tessa Thompson, Hailee Steinfeld and Valentina Sampaio with past collection pieces.

Gabrielle Union's ‘Aeternus’ gown is inspired by the Apollo crew looking at Earth from the moon’s perspective for the first time. Van Herpen sought to capture the dynamics between Earth and moon through this design.

Gabrielle Union’s dress took around 1,400 hours to make. It had 10,000 spheres, cut and layered in size gradients from a translucent white fabric with a laser cut fine silver outline. All of these circles were then handstitched in a multilevel optical illusion from which waves seem to float down weightlessly.

Grimes’ ‘Bene Gesserit‘ gown, inspired by Frank Herbert’s Dune series, features cascading liquid silicone intertwined with hand-pleated gradient-dyed silk. The concept behind this dress was to have small waves flowing in different directions like a liquid labyrinth to enhance the feminine forms.

“The patterns invite the viewer’s eyes to travel through the labyrinth, creating an intimacy in motion. There is a symbiosis between the movement of the body and the garment, an optical illusion is created with water-inspired repetition and pattern,” - Iris van Herpen.

Meta Morphism AW22

The collection is very future-oriented, inspired by post-humanism, by transforming identities, the metaverse, but also hyperreality, where digital reality and physical reality are becoming indistinguishable.

Client Orders

In addition to social events, at the atelier clients come to get one of the most important garments of their life, their wedding dresses. 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.


It was remarkable and essential for me, as a designer, to work in a company that has a societal impact. It reflected my professional identity and vision on how I could use new materials in designs to shift the focus on sustainability in the fashion industry.

This internship has helped me realize how important wearables are and the impact they can have on a person, but I want to take one step forward and focus on wearables in healthcare. As previously mentioned, what a person wears affects how they see themselves, how they feel, and how they want to show themselves to society. I think we can take a step forward and implement these things into wearables in healthcare.