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Where technology meets fashion

During the opening night of Amsterdam Fashion Week ready-to-wear met couture and technology during shows by Claes Iversen and Marga Weimans.

By Cassandra Pizzey / 12-07-2012

After some criticism on last year’s choices for opening night at Amsterdam Fashion Week, this year it seems programme director Carlo Wijnands and team have been somewhat more adventurous.

Kicking off opening night was Claes Iversen, who showed a collection comprising a number of reworked versions of his earlier designs. The bold yet feminine silhouettes Iversen is known for started off in neutral shades of taupe and grey, slowly building up to bursts of colour and ending with dresses covered in flower appliqués and glittering evening wear.

Iconic pieces such as his flower dress still seem current coming down the catwalk, especially combined with ‘fused’ pieces and luscious floral prints. Somehow it was as though Iversen had chosen to present his entire (allbeit relatively young) oeuvre during AFW, maybe a sign of new directions to come?

After the break it was the turn of – shall we say Paris – couturier Marga Weimans to wow the audience with her architectural creations. Wearing the most amazing block shoes, models moved along the runway part of steel and wood constructions, looking almost as if they were part of a boutique interior.

Rich graphic, mostly monochrome, prints formed the basis of the dresses which incorporated a combination of draping and three-dimensional tiers. Some fit for a ball, others actually almost wearable.

Weimans took her inspiration from architecture, something obvious in her choice of materials and forms. The highlight of the show was a dress comprising some three hundred mobile phones. Audience members were encouraged to send text messages to the phones which caused the displays to light up in an interactive spectacle.

After the second show it was on to ‘Fashion House: Most Beautiful Dress in the World’, an installation by Weimans and Vodafone in which viewers could take a look at the designer’s work process with the augmented reality app Layar while walking through the six rooms that made up the project.

It’s great to see how designers are using technology to further their collections in a way that is accessible for the public. Not only are we benefitting from all kinds of new materials which allow greater variety and durability in our clothing, but also the public is offered a rare view at designer processes often reserved only for the fashion insiders. No longer are front rows at catwalks only available to chief editors and popular bloggers, even teenage girls and boys are given the best spots through live streaming on their laptops and mobile phones and everyone can now experience the thought process that goes into making a fashion collection.

Photography: Peter Stigter

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