On Thursday 23 January, fashion designer Mattijs van Bergen had the honour of opening the Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam with his Autumn/Winter 2014 catwalk show named COMPLEMENTAIR.
Inspired by the painting techniques and colour use of [Vincent] Van Gogh, the collection was created in collaboration with the prestigious Van Gogh Museum.
The show featured a musical beginning by Van Bergen’s muze, actrice Jolanda van den Berg, who performed a moving rendition of Starry, starry night by Don McLean. The optimistic and colourdul collection was presented in a romantic yet melancholy setting: a projection of a raw, graphic forest filled with Birch trees by Niek Pulles, and autumn leaves which caem down over the catwalk and the audience.
COMPLEMENTAIR – Autumn/Winter 2014
The works and colour use of Vincent van Gogh inspired Van Bergen’s latest collection – literally as digital prints of famous artworks were printed onto long evening dresses, or applied in a kaleidoscopic all-over design. Also in a more abstract form, using only the colourways of the works – from the early darker works by Van Gogh to the explosive colour use in his later work.
Van Gogh’s painting technique forms the start for the fabrics and the various applications. Each of the fabrics feature a paint-like effect. Take for instance the 3D wool jacquards that resemble brush strokes or the poplin which Van Bergen painted himself. Even the plissé applications create the illusion of paint on canvas as a top and skirt are ‘painted’ with fabric. Graphic planes bring a modern dimension to the collection as the hexagonals refer to the six-sided ‘colour circle’ of Charles Blanc; one that Van Gogh used as reference.
The silhouettes are outspoken and optimistic. The collection featured a large selection of daywear with a wide range of accessible sweaters and tops. Knitwear takes a prominent role, from intarsia-knit sunflower patterns to inside-out knit jumpers and fully-fashioned graphic turtlenecks. The collection is finished off with a number of extravagant design comments set to large, pleated coats and dramatic evening gowns.
Mattijs van Bergen: “Van Gogh inspired me to keep close to my artistic signature, this collection is in honour of one the Netherlands’ greatest painters.”
On Friday 24 January, a selection of the collection will be on show at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam between 18:30 and 22:00. The outfits will be shown alongside the paintings they were inspired by. The designer himself will also be present.
Images: Peter Stigter
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