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Jan Taminiau at AIFW

Bejewelled masks, shoes in the form of icebergs and glow-in-the-dark fabrics were just some of the highlights at Jan Taminiau's haute-couture show during AIFW.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 03-02-2011

After a two-season absence from the Dutch catwalks, this Amsterdam International Fashion Week Jan Taminiau was back, presenting two collections during the opening night.

First up was the demi-couture collection named Seperates, which included wearable, flowing cocktail dresses and evening gowns embellished with Swarovski crystals. "The demi-couture collection comprises accessible, wearable pieces, it's unfortunate couture is set aside for the lucky few," says Taminiau.

This was the first time Taminiau showed a demi-couture collection, stemming from "a greater demand for high-quality". In this form of couture, garments need only one fitting, instead of the obligatory four needed for haute couture.

 A number of pieces were somewhat reminiscent of the glamour and romanticism of the 1920s and 1930s with dropped waistlines and trench coat-style dresses, the models' hair styled like Marlene Dietrich. Naturally these were combined with fresh, modern details such as asymmetric tops and beautiful fabrics. Featured in the collection were garments for many occasions, from cocktail or premiere to work meeting. "The catwalk outfits each have a specific look but the pieces are interchangeable, hence the name Separates."

The second show - and much more recognizable as Taminiau - was the haute-couture collection named Irradiance. The audience audibly held their breath as the first model came down the catwalk, wearing a bejewelled mask and heels so high they looked like icebergs. Taminiau explains: "Couture is free from any restrictions, it has nothing to do with the reality or whether it's wearable. Couture is unique."

The pieces in the collection form a statement about the inability for us to hide in today's society thanks to internet and social networking. The models are wrapped head to toe in fabric but because of the nature of the garments, are highly visible to the world. The high heels, shiny and glittering fabrics ensure they are always centre of attention.

Irradiance is a collection of strong contrast with whites and silvers set against greys and blacks, and long gowns opposite mini skirts combined with strong shoulders. The baroque patterns in the fabrics were all handwoven in reflective yarns to give them that iridescent touch the name suggests, and some patterns even glowed in the dark!

Main image: Jan Taminiau finale Separates
Other images top to bottom: 1-3 Separates 4. Irradiance photo:ANP 5-6 Irradiance

Photography: Team Peter Stigter

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