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ZEM and Roya Hesam

The first of the AIFW LABs featured two designers with a somewhat similar design aesthetic, ZEM and Roya Hesam both seemed to capture the essence of Spring/Summer 2012.

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 20-07-2011

Amsterdam International Fashion Week gives up-and-coming designers the chance to show their collections on a catwalk during various LABs.

This year, designers with similar aesthetics were paired by the AIFW team such as womenswear designer Roya Hesam and menswear designer ZEM.

The similarities between the two collections lay in soft colour palettes, colour blocking, and luxurious fabrics. Surprisingly, both also showed jumpsuits!

First off was menswear label ZEM, fronted by Samira Algoe, presenting the Spring/Summer 2012 collection named DAYLIGHT. A recent graduate from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) Algoe concentrates on giving archetypical menswear a contemporary voice, as is apparent in her latest collection. Taking classic swimwear as a starting point, sheer silk cotton, cotton poplin and water-resistant fabrics are combined to create a modern take on summer fashion.

The collection aims to recreate the typical feel of sun, sea and sand reflected in the choice of fabrics and colours. Sheer, almost see-through fabrics mimic pure daylight, combined with opaque material for a colour-blocking effect. Crisp white shirts, yellow tailored shorts, white and grey sports jackets and even a bright-yellow onesie, came down the runway; a cool yet sophisticated nod to summer.

Another recent AMFI graduate Roya Hesam - who also showed during the Next/Cutting Edge show at the Modefabriek - presented her collection 'Facing Skills' at AIFW. Beautiful flowing fabrics in muted pastel colours seemed to glide over the catwalk in the form of jumpsuits, dresses and tailored trousers. "The collection represents my ideal woman," says Hesam. "She has a soft heart, hence the silks and subtle colours, yet also a strong personality, expressed in the black accents."

"It's great to be given the chance to present it on a catwalk, people tend to prefer clothing when they've seen it on." Working with silks and fine knits, the entire collection has a high-end feel, "it was important to work with ecological materials, the more natural the fabric is, the greater the story behind it."

Wanting to make women feel elegant, the collection has a minimalistic yet wearable character. Combining the fabrics in loose-fitting, pleated patterns, there is  the feeling of movement while at the same time, multiple layers aim to convey a sense of life within the garments.

Click on the images to enlarge

Main image: ZEM
Other images: 1.-3. ZEM 4.-7. Roya Hesam

Photography: Peter Stigter

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