Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Iris van Herpen Dress

by Conservation

12/6/2018

behind the scenes , conservation , Iris van Herpen , Fashion Arts & Textiles

It’s the holidays and a special delivery came for the Fashion and Textile Arts Collection! The Cincinnati Art Museum is excited to welcome this dress by Iris van Herpen to the collection. "Capriole" was part of van Herpen’s Fall/Winter 2011 collection, but this one was made especially for us. The dress is a covered in 2,642 triangles of acrylic sheet that flow in lines and peaks and swirls all around. This holiday treat didn’t come to us in a brightly wrapped package: it traveled in a large, wooden crate full of foam padding and packing peanuts for its trip from Amsterdam to Cincinnati.

Now that it’s here, we will swap the crate and Styrofoam for "conservation safe storage" that will help keep the dress protected and looking its best between the times it is not on display. We are preparing a three-dimensional form that will fit inside to keep the dress from collapsing or distorting under the weight of all those triangles. The form will fit over a hanger so that the storage form and dress can hang together, fully supported yet floating in space. Keep an eye out for when this new acquisition will make its debut in the galleries.