Date 03.02.2018

SS2018 COUTURE: Claes Iversen’s “Wanting, Needing, Waiting…”

Lust couture hit Amsterdam Wednesday evening when designer Claes Iversen celebrated his aluminum jubilee at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet Hall. Ten professional years dedicated to a woman who’s sublimated elegance– this has been Iversen’s creative axis.

In this first decade, the handsome Danish designer, born and educated in the Netherlands, earned a BA at The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art and was intelligently supplemented in 2006 with a two-year MA at Arnhem’s ArtEZ. Though documenting a road full of experiments, Iversen never lost his focus and fetishism on women and their major obligations. From day one, sophistication evaporates underneath his delicate hands, keeping monarchies, actresses and slim celebrities (his target audience) well supplied. A man described as young-hearted, seductive, and the creator of moments worthy of endless praise.

Iversen’s ready-to-wear was folded into his existing couture line last year, but there is nothing regrettable about that today. Except for a few still influenced by his early trainee days at Viktor & Rolf (which, personally, I would have skipped), wearability has reinforced most of the looks sent on the washed-liver carpet nailed down by pointed toe pumps. Without those few looks, the same show could have easily taken place at the French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris or on any architectural platform as it transported us into the spectacular anyway.

The designer’s love of the bare body doesn’t overwhelm. Instead, it delivers freedom and joy to those who struggle to avoid falling into national conventionalisms. Nude latex may bring severity as compensation to the tulles and lace trapped under tight leather belts, but it sure illuminates those long legs! Oversized buckles create tension on beautifully chaotic finishing, fastening fabrics that attest to the team’s absolute workmanship (it is worthy to note here his right hand man and stylist Mark Lentelink, another prestigious ArtEZ graduate). The Tuxedo’s satin collars are my favorite look, looking haute-priced. But price is irrelevant in this fairytale as the time invested in this collection would be impossible to calculate. It’s a Claes anyway!

Do Fashion Week’s calendars even have a purpose? Iversen manages to give Amsterdam what it deserves when he wants to: a hot show with international pedigree.