Friday, October 23, 2020


Press Release

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

This October, Stary Browar in Poznań, Poland, will become home to Iris van Herpen’s avant-garde couture creations. Entitled ‘Alchemic Couture’, the solo exhibition opening at the Courtyard Art Gallery explores the designer’s visionary interdisciplinary creative process in which innovation and craftsmanship interlace. 

Renowned for presenting the most significant cultural events that are connected to decade-defining art, fashion and design, the Stary Browar forum has been integral to opening up the discussion to the Polish public to interact in these cultural discourses. On October 16th, the Courtyard Art Gallery — located at the heart of Stary Browar — is inviting the public to discover the world of Haute Couture at its most intricate level. The Dutch designer, Iris van Herpen, recognised as one of the most conceptual artists within the industry, will display her creations at Stary Browar. The public will be able to delve into the designer's universe and admire Iris van Herpen's luxurious designs, carefully curated by Stary Browar’s Wojtek Piotr Onak.

Joanna Tupalska, Marketing Director at Stary Browar: "The annual Stary Browar birthday on November 5th has been commemorated over these past few years with the organisation of unique events showcasing artists whose universe echo with the philosophy of the gallery. Pioneers whose ambition and imperative is to create something truly innovative and unique. Creators that pave new paths and are looking for game-changing solutions. Our Courtyard Art Gallery has become a place that represents progressive artistic projects at the crossroads between art and fashion. This fall, together with the Curator Wojtek Piotr Onak, we would like to present Iris van Herpen to the audience of our gallery. For her, there is no such thing as the impossible."

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar (Click to enlarge)

The couturier: Iris van Herpen 

Iris van Herpen perceives Haute Couture as a transformative language, an interdisciplinary entity that emerges from the space in which innovation and craftsmanship interlace. The symbiotic relationships found in nature's intricate web, the invisible forces that structure architectural patterns, and the hybrid dance in which the body and mind intersect are influences that shape the designer's visionary creative process.

Transcending the boundaries within the industry by liberating our sense of limitations, Van Herpen is known for fusing emerging technologies like 3-D printing or laser cutting with delicate Haute Couture handwork such as embroidering or draping. Through thoughtful collaborations, the Maison strives for a sustainable approach, mirrored in luxurious creations. Celebrating female empowerment, Van Herpen's vision is guided by inspirational women such as the brand's global clientele or muses like Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton or Naomi Campbell. 

Since January 2011, Van Herpen showcases her creations bi-annually which search for new methods to visualise the imperceptible inspiration behind them at Paris Haute Couture Week. Trained in classical ballet, the designer contemplates movement as a metamorphic force which in cross-pollination with fashion can extend the form of the human body — sculpting unique silhouettes or reflecting the way the body moves. 

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

The exhibition content 

The exhibition encompasses Iris van Herpen’s background, artistic as well as technological explorations, including key collaborations that have contributed to reshape the Couture landscape over the years.

Curator Wojtek Piotr Onak states the exhibition's title 'Alchemic Couture' emphasises the transformative power of fashion as envisioned by Iris van Herpen.

The Intersection of Art, Fashion and Science

Iris van Herpen's preoccupation for the material and immaterial world led her to use technology to investigate the elements and invisible forces that shape our physical reality. The designer's desire to challenge human's shifting nature of perception is driven by her willingness to understand the secrets of nature and a determination to unlock its mysteries. 

Through her interdisciplinary approach, collaborating with artists, architects and scientists, the brand enriches its expertise by fusing 3D printing, digital fabrication, chemical and electrical processes into the creation of the garments. Due to her deep interest rooted within emerging technologies, biology and arts, Iris van Herpen brings fashion to unexplored areas. 

A special emphasis will be put on Iris van Herpen and Philip Beesley's ongoing collaboration which reflects their mutual passion for architectural structures as well as their relentless exploration of matter — its limits and composition.

The designer announced her participation at the vernissage which will open this unique exhibition at Stary Browar on October 16th.

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

Additional information 

The Courtyard Art Gallery is one of the most unique exhibition spaces in Poland, which presents to the Polish public leading artworks in the world of fashion. Exhibitions about the works of David LaChapelle, Björk, Daniel Lismore among others, have previously showcased at the Gallery. 

Curator Wojciech Piotr Onak previously cooperated with Stary Browar during several editions of the Art & Fashion Festival, as well as on the "Björk Digital" project, David LaChapelle and Daniel Lismore exhibitions.

Photo courtesy of Stary Browar

“Alchemic Couture” Iris van Herpen - exhibition

16/10/2020* - 31/01/2021

The Courtyard Art Gallery, Stary Browar, Poznań, PL

Tickets available soon at

*exhibition opening date, invitation only

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