Medusa, From the Muses Series

A collaboration between two remarkable artists  resulted in Isabelle Van Zeijl’s series ICONS. This collection of introspective portraits explores the ancient icons of beauty. Polyhymnia, Venus, Medusa and Victoria are all distinct masquerades created by the harmonious and converging visions of Van Zeijl and renowned Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen. Van Zeijl carefully selected couture designs by Van Herpen from 2011 – 2016 to create a series of poetic and complex images. 

‘Venus,’ the Goddess of Love, is depicted in a medley of rippled fabric reminiscent of the 18th century hairstyles of Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus.’  According to mythology Medusa, the snake haired temptress, had the power to turn onlookers into stone. The symbol of the medusa head was later adopted to connote malevolence. Here, Zeijl incorporates the dark sultry nature of Herpen’s sequence design into her portrayal of the dark female force ‘Medusa.’

(Left) Isabelle van Zeijl, “Polyhymnia,” from the series ICONS, 2017 (Right) Iris Van Herpen, Haute Couture Catwalk Show SS2017. 

(Left) Isabelle Van Zeijl, “Medusa,”, ICONS, 2017. (Right) Team Peter Stigter, 2016. Iris Van Herpen Catwalk Fashion Show Womenswear FW2016.

(Left) Van Zeijl, Isabelle. 2017. “Venus,” ICONS, 2017. (Right) Graveravens. 2016. Iris Van Herpen Haute Couture FW 2016 Collection Presented At Paris Fashion Week

(Left) Isabelle van Zeijl, “Victoria,” ICONS, 2017. (Right) Vogue. 2011. Iris Van Herpen Catwalk | Fall 2011 Couture.

You can find out more about Isabelle van Zeijl’s series ICONS here. 


‘HER’ by Isabelle van Zeijl is currently on display at Young Masters at the Royal Over-Seas League. Isabelle van Zeijl, HER, 

By Phoebe Walsh.

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