Iris Van Herpen & Calais


I took a 6 hour coach trip from Plymouth to Calais. This was to see the Iris Van Herpen exhibition at the Calais lace museum, France. This is only the second time I’ve been abroad so far, a trip of many to come I hope.

The exhibition was amazing. I had already seen a few of Iris Van Herpen shows on YouTube and on her website but you never get the full impact of her pieces until you see them up close. She uses leather in almost every piece, the way it has been treated in some it looks more like metal or plastic. The fabric manipulation she has created is so beautiful and technical. I had a few favorites, one being a 3D printed piece. she has collaborated with many different crafts and you can really see how she has interpreted them into her work. its not just fashion, it is art. Iris Van Herpen is extremely innovated, museums already want her work at the age of 29.

The trip was part of a ‘Chrysalis’ project with Calais, Belgium, Plymouth and Bristol. looking in to the innovation of lace.

While at the Calais Lace Museum we had a look around all of the lace history pieces, including the industrial lace machines (which we managed to find by following the loud factory-esque noise), there was lace through the eras. It was interesting to see how it has changed. As I arrived into the last room of the museums exhibition I was amazed to see a whole array of lace inspired work created by students and tutors, people involved in the ‘Chrysalis Project’. I fell in love with an interactive piece, very psychedelic. There was a garment on a mannequin large and padded, almost like a giant crayola suit, with this unusual print. The print was supported by a video with 3D glasses which distorted the distance focus of different areas of the video.

The trip overall was very worth while. I experienced things you just don’t get from the internet or books. I look forward to seeing how my colleges (Plymouth College of Art) contribution to the ‘Chrysalis Project’ develops.







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