June 2, 2018 to October 8, 2018

Look beyond fashion and explore the endless possibilities that come from interweaving design, art, and technology in Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion.

The exhibition explores the extraordinary designs of Dutch couturier, Iris van Herpen, through her 2008-2015 collections that push the boundaries of traditional fashion and craftsmanship.

Accompanying Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is the immersive installation Philip Beesley: Transforming Space. Together, they take you on a captivating exploration into design, fashion, technology and the world around us.


Free for ROM Members

Descriptive Audio Tour

Download the playlist in advance.

Download the transcript here.


Iris van Herpen’s bold creations have been at the forefront of experimentation and collaboration. She has earned international acclaim for her extraordinary shapes that use innovative materials, from metal umbrella ribs to magnets, and by working with leading architects, engineers and scientists, placing her at the edge of new technologies.

Past collaborations include her work with one of Canada’s most forward-thinking architects, Philip Beesley. Sharing a mutual fascination for materials and structures, van Herpen and Beesley have influenced and contributed to one another’s work to push the boundaries of design and how we think about it.

Collaboration at Work

Iris van Herpen’s Aeriform collection, presented during Paris Couture week, marked her tenth anniversary. To further contribute to its growing collection of Fashions & Textiles, the ROM commissioned an iconic, soon-to-be-realized piece from this latest collection.

“To me this dress is . . . an expression of the way Philip inspires me to rethink the relationship between our body and the space around us, to remodel the relation between our insides and our outsides.”

— Iris van Herpen

The Dome dress was inspired by air and designed with innovative materials to produce an intricate silhouette that floats around the body like a wondrous silver cloud. Made in collaboration with Philip Beesley, this incredibly light dress was created using delicate and voluminous laser-cut metal lace that was then hand-molded into three-dimensional domes. With nature as van Herpen’s other muse, the rose-like domes mimic bubbles of air reflecting light and billowing around the body, producing the airy, weightless movement of the Dome dress.

See this stunning design and special collaborative piece in the exhibition.


Royal Exhibitions Circle:
Gail and Bob Farquharson
Chris & Kasia Jamroz
Robert E. Pierce & family
Stephen Smith & Diane Blake
James and Louise Temerty
Richard Wernham & Julia West
Jeff Willner & family

Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. The exhibition was curated by Sarah Schleuning, High Museum of Art, and Mark Wilson and Sue-an van der Zijpp, Groninger Museum.

Photos, from top to bottom:
1) Radiation Invasion, Dress, September 2009. Faux leather, gold foil, cotton, and tulle Groninger Museum, 2012.0201 Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios.
2) Refinery Smoke, Dress, July 2008. Untreated woven metal gauze and cow leather. Groninger Museum, 2012.0196. Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios.
3) Directed by: Stylianos Pangalos. Music by: Salvador Breed, Between Music. Editing: Veronica Bonafè. Director of Photography: Matthieu David Cournot, Phil Prieur. Production: ADM paris
4) Photo by Yannis Vlamos