On May 10th 2017, fashion designer Anne de Grijff presented her new collection ‘XO’ at the StadsSalon of Tracy Metz and Baptist Brayé in Amsterdam
CAMIEL FORTGENS SS2018 - Almost inexplicably no Dutch retailer stocks this unnoticed brand, but Camiel Fortgens has carefully conquered international retailers with one storyline: comfort is first for charming boys, and sometimes, for awesome girls. The unisex product has seduced overseas new accounts including Osaka’s Wallace & Murron, Jana Torino; and many more to be revealed before spring-summer 2018 sunrises. There’s a bit of Amsterdam on those ruffled over-shirts that bring streetwear to upper class, so high, we’re realizing the brilliance behind it just right now. Expectations? Yes, knitwear, footwear and sunglasses; these all could bring the brand into finishing details; finally renovating the sleeping Dutch menswear. Photos: © Studio Alias
SCHEPERS BOSMAN SS2018 - Their recent and second runway presentation emphasized what we already saw last January: bodies are the place to endlessly construct with fabrics, preferably and pleasantly, all around them. Though I would have preferred more boxing shorts instead of pants, the romance between checks and flowers was persistent. Inspired by the work of sculptor John Chamberlain, ArtEZ’s BA graduates duo with MAs in London in Paris, have been selected as a finalist for the international Mercedes-Benz Les Etoiles 2017 competition. I referenced their overalls in early 2016 when they sent formula-one styles as the new suit; a silhouette that has remained irreplaceable for many others will soon be available online. Photos: © Team Peter Stigter
FROWIJN RESORT 2018 - Focusing on sustainability by using silver leather (a non-woven textile made from pineapple leaves fibers), Frowijn’s collaboration with graphic designer Michiel Schuurman only elaborates her own furious fabrics– the designer made it all absolutely independent. A trip to Mexico last March brought full awareness on the endless HOPE natives have for one day being part of one world instead of being separated by a wall. Pictorially, the cactus in the print represents a natural sword, but mythologically also means hope. Right after the presentation last July at Droog, The Toyama Prefectural Museum of Art & Design in Japan, booked a few Resort 2018 looks to be exhibited as examples of innovation applied into textiles. Photos: © Olya Olenic
SCHUELLER DE WAAL RESORT 2018 - With only a few weeks left for what will be their official ‘first & fabulous’ show schedule for September 6th in Amsterdam, we get a sneak peak of their recent SS18 teaser: ‘LET'S STAY IN BED FOR THIS SEASON’. Inviting you all for a resort nap, six looks are part of a compact capsule collection going nowhere, but chilling in bed, while wearing a jumpsuit. Amsterdam retailer MENAGE is the local dealer stocking SDW’s FW18, their sixth playful collection. It’s the duo’s creative motivation for this rather too-gorgeous-to-sleep situation, which brings women to go shopping for sun and fun! Photos: © Lonneke van der Palen
HARDEMAN FW2017 - The feminine power behind HARDEMAN is Sophie Hardeman, our number one Dutch Indigo Woman. This Amsterdam born designer took on the challenge to create and even compete with the mid ‘90s start of Renzo Rozzo’s DIESEL. Campaigns turned into billboards all over the world bringing them to the next level. While sales are based in London and Paris, her big love for LA brought the FW17 to be presented at PLAZA Night Club on La Brea Ave, Hollywood. Diversity and individualism is this drag bar’s dress code, leaving the comedy and culture shock to HARDEMAN. Once the spectacle ended, the bar owner wanted to book the show again, how salsa and merengue is that? Whale tails are mostly awkward in your face, but her ‘00s replicas are more of a normal everyday thing; we start to like it. Photos: © Bennet Perez
MAISON THE FAUX PRE SS2018 - Returning to Amsterdam’s runway brought the design duo to combine Pre S/S18 and a mega set design before heading NYC for the main S/S18 show in September. The ultraviolet space, with solarium beds, was crowded with the most individual models-clients (diversity is one of the house’s specialties), but it went slightly differently with their choice of fabrics. Aside from their regular denims, pastel cotton gabardines and jerseys, it was only in the bicolor tweed combinations that the indoor tanning got to shine and flattery was taken into consideration. Let’s expect the Big Apple will push tweeds to the skylines (as seen at center here, also my favorite look) possibly following Junya Watanabe’s SS08 Chanel madness; and then the story will really start steaming. Photos: © Team Peter Stigter
TRINHBECX SS2018 - When dedication is devoted to designing clothes for confident women, sensual comfort can be created around the body. This is absolutely reflected in TRINHBECX’s latest work. Inspired by 2011 Araki’s photography series, the ‘Beast-and-Flower’ powerful women seemed to have left the nostalgia around camera lenses and enter the real world as wild cocoons. When re-editing the rather long collection (twenty looks would have been sufficient and ideal), the strength was not exactly in the unnecessary cutout deconstruction, but instead in the elegant clash in between transparencies, lacquered fabrics and glossy vinyl. Photos: © Team Peter Stigter
ANNE DE GRIJFF ‘XO’ - De Grijff’s constructed vision includes a beautiful acoustic, similar to those in salons. With three years working under her own strategy made-to-measure, there’s a clientele following the designer’s work with no rush, but leaving space to hear the stories decorating her garments. Shown independently last May in a private venue creating a couture atmosphere, the event emphasized how Dutch design is also about pureness and timid details. A no-seasonal collection gives the client the chance to review it, add combinations, or adjust to their liking. Interactive poetry as communication and service, some clients have also been portrayed on her clothes by photographer Koos Breukel. Hectic systems are to be rejected, niche networks to be dressed from head-to-toe; and she owns that leadership in town. Photos: © Kyle Tryhorn
Colossal creations won’t redefine DUTCH FASHION – Artworks by Ulises Chamorro
After striving for stability for more than a decade, the Dutch fashion system has drastically changed it’s strategies without warning. This has emphasized how fragmented the Amsterdam system is which, as consequence, has become illegible. We analyze its current struggles and the public’s erroneous satisfaction, thus emphasizing the importance of branching out.
Up in the exosphere of this world, Iris van Herpen is a star that has managed to add glamour as a scientific equation to her more wearable haute couture sculptures– something we could not have predicted even a season ago. Cara Delevingne recently wore a Fall 2017 3D metallic gown to a film premiere, illustrating how beauty can move beyond those Armani Privé classics. It raises the question of whether Van Herpen’s techniques are not perhaps the right ones to embellish the future of the ancient Italian house.
This proud leadership would be shared, in part, with demi-couturier Ronald van der Kemp aka RVDK, whom I believe to be be the perfect candidate to take Lanvin’s empty seat as womenswear artistic director for a global shock. Indeed, the famous French universe needs more sexiness and off the shoulder looks than ever before. The Dutch designer would not have disappointed Lanvin’s primary shareholder, Mrs Shaw-Lan Wang (Harmonie S.A.), this time.
But let’s leave them up in the sky until the next big surprise!
Back down to Earth, Amsterdam is the working hub where ninety percent of designers test run their creations before taking the leap into their international sales and presentations. After the economical grandeur of Paris, Los Angeles (Hardeman) and New York (Sies Marjan and Maison The Faux) remain the preferred cities of their home away from home. In those cities, the Amsterdam’s local, commercial tentacles, designed by the existing fashion organizations to lure international buyers, cannot reach. Unfortunately, fashion has become a vague form of entertainment here in the DAM, whose problems have become taboos that are kept hidden by its own public and corporate sponsors. Whether they are cars or just regular visitors fanatically searching for the city’s old extravagance, it is a melancholic movement that refers more to the early nightlife of the 90s passé aesthetic than to fashion today.
The confusing road began many years ago by giving the national denim industry– with its raw material so overused on the runway yet declines prominence– the false credentials to be associated with contemporary fashion design. Of course, we have excellent denim brands: we just call it jeanswear. Oui, c’est ça, but we only have a select few performing in Paris compared to those from Antwerp who have the privilege to avoid direct association with indigo or any massive commerce form. These two segments have been mixed in the Netherlands, and it seems impossible to separate them right now. This is just one reason why so many Dutch designers choose, initially, to present autonomously or abroad, far away from their rainy Amsterdam.
The majorities of today’s baby designers are anxious for exposure and recognition and busy themselves collecting Instagram followers compared to the brave few dealing with sales. This creates a tremendous traffic jam and we have no choice other than to sort it out. The obsession for newly graduated talents and collectives adds hysteria to the trend, which doesn’t get us anywhere. Rush, rush and rush but for what? Let’s remain focused on our Dutch Dries, Ann Walter, Raf, An & Filip, Dirk, Veronique, etc. Our own designers en route to success, a group that will need to consolidate before becoming representative of a generation. If we can prioritize this, that will guarantee space for the next generations.
We already have one Maison The Faux, do we need the urgency of a second one? No.
If there is any doubt in the comparison with Antwerp or doubt the country’s ability as a fashion representative, the answer can be found right at the Belgium border– Maastricht. Antwerp’s mega structure, FASHIONCLASH, travels all year networking and gathering the newest trends. The prestigious festival is also able to present the top-graduating students, from both national and international fashion schools, before anyone else in the country. Does Amsterdam really need to compete there? The answer is irrevocably no. Let’s leave the young and the raw to Maastricht, while Amsterdam should remain in love with those married to Paris, and do so quickly, before all migrating American designers take those few remaining spaces on the French calendar.
If Amsterdam has such an obsessive need for newly graduated talents, we should consider things constructively: take them off the runway and put them on a TV show. It could be some kind of Netflix series that would provide a post-educational collective experience but avoid the intimidating moment of exposure. Thus, a big audience would be guaranteed (the Dutch watch TV for three hours a day on average) to judge whether beautiful or not. Let’s stop these inexperienced babies from running in public when they still don’t know how to walk, nor which way to even go. The sales oriented ones (see below) can go on the official calendar for the judgment of the professionals seated in the front row (buyers, investors, press but no celebrities). This would create a solid, long-term official calendar, with only a few free spaces left, just as in Paris.