We brought you some news from AFW last week but here’s an overview of what else we saw including the Green Fashion Competition, Elise Kim, Winde Rienstra and Marije de Haan.
There was much criticism once again at Amsterdam Fashion Week - which has dropped the International from its title. The big Dutch designers such as Jan Taminiau or Iris van Herpen have left Amsterdam to show in Paris alongside Viktor and Rolf. And who can blame them?
What can be said about the Dutch capital’s answer to fashion week is that it offers a platform to young design talents such as Winde Rienstra and Marije de Haan. De Haan graduated in 2012 from the KABK (The Hague) and won the G-Start Raw Talent Award at Lichting last year. This time at Fashion Week she presented a conceptual menswear collection inspired by the darker side of our society. Named ‘You fine-haired sons-of-bitches’, the collection is somewhat obscure, based on the story of American bandit Black Bart, with head coverings, a colour palette palette reminiscent of faded photos and mix of natural materials (vilt, leather, denim).
Presenting her collection ‘Reflections of Facets’ Winde Rienstra makes slow fashion, not dominated by the conventions of today which dictate that designers should present at least two collections a year. The 3-D forms which dominate Rienstra’s designs are inspired by the almost mathematical paintings of J.C. van Schagen. Combining the sharp 3-D shapes with soft flowing fabrics creates an unexpected feeling of femininity.
Another young designer combining strong silhouettes with soft femininity is Vietnam-born Elise Kim who showed her collection named Epiphenomenon. Coming down the catwalk we spotted a subtle sense of detail in pleats, alongside some surprising fabric combinations. Kim’s ideal woman seemed to float between strong and sensual thanks to sheer silks, cut-out details and furry statement coats. Her colour palette included cream whites, deep blues and blacks, conveying a sense of minimalism and cleanness.
Among sponsored catwalk shows and salon presentations there was time for a fashion competition with a big twist. The Green Fashion Competition - whose ambassador is model-turned-businesswoman Lonneke Engel - focusses on sustainable fashion which is worthy of a catwalk spot.
Supported by both H.R.H. Princess Máxima and the Dutch minister for economics, agriculture and innovation Maxime Verhagen the two winners received prizes of €15.000 and €25.000. Divided over two categories (one for starting designers, the other for established designers) eight designers presented a collection, business plan and sales strategy to the judges.
Winner in the first category Studio Jux presented a minimalist clothing line with a twist. The designs incorporate biological cotton and hemp and the clothing is produced under fair circumstances in Nepal (hence Studio Jux’ slogan: Support your Nepali tailor). As the brand has been ‘green’ and fair from the outset, the jury was convinced it deserved to win.
Second category winner was New York-based Carrie Parry who showed the judges a high-quality, timeless collection which is equally wearable.
Although Amsterdam Fashion Week cannot - and probably never will never be able to - compare to the biggest fashion weeks of the world, it does offer something we don’t see in Milan, Paris and New York: a chance for young designers to present their collection on a catwalk to a critical audience of journalists, bloggers, stylists and buyers. Maybe Dutch fashion wont be spread across the fashion magazines but we can certainly say the Netherlands encourages emerging designers and contributes towards sustainable design.
Main image: Marije de Haan
Other images: 1.-2. Winde Rienstra 3.-4. Elise Kim 5. Carrie Parry 6. Studio Jux photography: Peter Stigter 6. Studio Jux
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