Saturday, January 30, 2010

EnD: This Is Only The Beginning…

Now this is interesting way to start a fashion show: EnD introduced their new collection with a short movie in film noir-style, starring Dutch actor Sebastiaan Labrie. The clip was a great way to set the mood for the runway show that was obviously inspired by the 1940s and 50s. As the first model entered, holding a cigarette and with a confident smile on her face, it already became very clear: you don’t mess with an EnD-woman. But as Labrie says in the video: “I’m crazy about you baby...”

As the show continued a wide range of designs walked by, all having an amazing, feminine, sexy look. Whether they were wearing extra long trousers or mini mini-skirts, transparent tops or covers-it-all blouses: all models seem to be getting this magical, powerful appearance thanks to their outfits. As if their designs were saying: “Don’t mess with me, my feminine power will destroy you.” And if the clothes weren’t saying that, the shoes definitely were. The whole collection was a pleasant surprise: smooth silhouettes were combined with broad shoulders and silky fabrics were decorated with details like bows and prominent golden zippers.

EnD consists of the two designers Eva van Overbeeke (29) and Delia Drel (30)- both of them graduated in 2003 at the Academy of Art in Utrecht. Even though EnD is already showing at AIFW since January 2007, they are still relatively young in the fashion world. But their collection had the quality and elegance of a label that’s been designing for decades already: the entire show was refined, classy and sophisticated.

All photos by Aram Goudsmit

Written by Lisa Goudsmit

Front Row at OntFront

3,2,1 ready for take off… A model fires a shot and the show is on. Luckily nobody got hurt: this special opening was only a representation of the inspiration for this collection – the Lambhorgini.

Shift Gear is the new collection by OntFront: an Amsterdam based menswear label. Founders and designers Liza Koifman and Tomas Overtoom translated the shape of the famous car into masculine clothing with an innovative use of patterns. The designs are streamlined, cool, classy, edgy and timeless at the same time: just like Lambhorgini. In Dutch actor Tygo Gernandt, who opened the show as a special model, the design duo seems to have found their ideal ‘OntFront-man’: casual-chic, classy but street-smart at the same time. The K-Swiss shoes match the outfits surprisingly well.

We were already introduced to OntFront at the Cutting Edge area at modefabriek, but this show proofed to us once again that the Liza Koifman and Tomas Overtoom have a promising career ahead of them.

A girl with a black and white flag closes the show: a well thought out execution of an original

concept, from start to finish...

All photos by Aram Goudsmit
Written by Lisa Goudsmit

Dutch Fashion meets Dutch Design

Saturday the 30th started with a nice mixture of fashion, cocktails and music at the flagship store of Azzurro Due in the heart of the Amsterdam shopping centre: the P.C. Hooftstraat.

Joline Jolink has been a well-known name in the Dutch fashion scene for a few years already, so I was quite surprised she wasn’t showing at AIFW this time. But after meeting her it became very clear to me that this is one smart, focussed designer. Instead of having all the stress of organizing a show, she decided to give her 100% attention to the products of this collection. She wants to create beautiful, unique items that women can actually wear and feel comfortable in. And she sure succeeded in doing that!

Her new Spring 2010 collection was inspired by Maria Sybilla Merion, an 18th century artist intrigued by butterflies. The drawings Merion made of these elegant creatures were translated by Jolink into ladylike, chic yet comfortable designs that women can wear with great pride and confident. Joline Jolink was also fascinated by Merion herself: an independent hard-working woman ahead of her time. She imagined her wearing these comfortable clothes but still looking sophisticated and classy. The colours in this collection range from sky blue and white to beige and taupe: all with a subtle grey mist over them. The designer explains that the inside of a butterfly inspired her to use these colours: “A butterfly has all these amazing bright colours form the outside, but one the inside these colours all fade into greyish tones.” The main material she used was of course silk, but also linen and cotton can be found in this absolutely amazing collection. I can only appreciate and respect the thrive of Jolink to make the best collection possible every season. Her designs and quality are on a level that is hardly ever seen in the fashion scene in Holland.

The other label showing their collection at Azzurro Due was And Beyond, by Jolanda van den Broek and Brigitte Hendrix. After showing their new collection FW 2010/2011 yesterday at AIFW, they were now celebrating the fact that their SS 2010 collection will be sold from today at Azzurro Due. This Spring/Summer collection was inspired by flags and the zeitgeist: we see a print resembling the burning of the Danish flag and dresses with the famous American stars and stripes in a new version. Even though this may sound very in-your-face and a little bit too much for the average woman, it actually is a very pretty, sophisticated and still wearable collection. The designers did a great job translating this strong concept into beautiful innovative fashion. I especially loved the starry black and white dress: a star is born!

And stars they will be, Jolanda van den Broek and Brigitte Hendrix, I have no doubts about that. According to themselves they are now growing up: “This collections marks our way to the Dutch market. Before we were only being sold through special projects, but we are very pleased to have some more points of sale now.” When asked about their vision, the designers say they want to design feminine clothes with an edge: “To us, fashion is an expression of a certain time. We want to translate the zeitgeist into unique clothing without making too much of a political statement. To us fashion is more that a piece of cloth that can be thrown away after one season- it has to intrigue and evoke emotions.” Amen to that.

All photos by Aram Goudsmit
Written by Lisa Goudsmit

And Beyond

There are not many words which can describe And Beyond's phenomenal presentation at fashion week, "Waanzinnig" nevertheless is one of them. It's a Dutch word that can loosely be translated as ridiculously, crazily amazing.

Jolanda van den Broek and Brigitte Hendrix collaborate as 'And Beyond'. Their first seasonal collection is called 'smoke' after the smoke that lingers when fireworks that lit the sky have died out and illustrates the duo's search to find a more permanent position in the perishable fashion industry.

This concept also structured And Beyond's presentation, and instead of a 4-minute catwalk, Jolanda and Brigitte chose to present their designs in a series of glass columns, which were rhythmically filled with smoke and light. This created a stunning atmosphere in the pitch black hall where their presentation was held. A log burner filled your nostrils with woody smoke and cinammon-orange gluhwein continued the wintery-experience, warming visitors from the inside, out.

And Beyond's collection consisted of unique black, emerald, blue and grey prints in succulent silks and beautiful velour.

Brigitte: "This is our first seasonal collection, and although we're conforming to the rhythm of the fashion industry, we want to create our own place within this, our presentation is an example of such."

And Beyond surpass your senses, surpass expectations and surpass the current perceptions of fashion, all the way, And Beyond..


Claes Iversen

Claes Iversen is the Fashion Week golden child. Each season he presents completely stunning women's wear with a personal message. This time he portrayed his progression into 'professional maturity', in contrast to his yearning to withhold his inner-child. This was c
learly visualized within his collection by prim burgundy wovens which deconstructed to reveal nude crisp organza's and sparkly flower-appliques.

Odd dashes of simple navy velvet, made my mouth water; the simplest of dresses executed immaculately are the most divine!

Claes's tasteful colour palette was peachy in nudes, apricots, plums and the mentioned navy's. In typical Claes-style his show-piece was a prodigy in itself; a blushing white bride completely constructed out of price-tags.. Is this Claes maturely acknowledging the value of his work?



Kim Leemans and Merel Wicker are design-duo LEW, who house a former gay-bar in Amsterdam city centre. This was also the stage for their collection presentation this Fashion Week.

From the outside it was slightly unsettling, a dodgy broken-down building. The stairwell wasn't much better with creaking floorboards and flaking walls. LEW's level was a few flights up and also featured the flaky walls and grunge, but in comparison to the entrance, was somehow an idyllic setting where the beautiful clothing seemed to affect its environment -almost like watching your favourite band play in a garage.

LEW's collection was a continuation of their Spring/Summer '10 designs with a comparable pattern derived from BlueBoy's (the gaybar's) mouldy walls. The colours nevertheless were more vibrant, reminiscent to a painting that Merel made herself.

Merel: "We never really perceive a collection to be finished, and instead continuously evolve our work."

In addition to their designs, the duo presented geometric accessories that contrasted perfectly with their psychedelic prints and shoe designer Lieke de Koning presented her graduation collection.


Collection Arnhem

Collectie Arnhem is a label by the Artez fashion department. Each season third-year students deliver a collection from the drawing board, to production and sales. One of the 23 students to design this year's collection is Anne Bosman. He explained that the school has partnered with specialized textiles manufacturer Vlisco for this collection.
Vlisco is a Dutch company that is located in Helmond and surprisingly produces unique wax-textiles for the Western-African market. Through special printing techniques, where wax is applied to stop dyes seeping through the fabric, Vlisco enables double-sided printing, necessary in West-African dress.
Collectie Arnhem provided an unusual combination of African prints (and music) with lady-like, almost housewife-inspired designs in 'proper' beiges, navy and emeralds.
Anne: "With our collection we aim to raise a new kind of 'correctness'. One of my colleagues told us about his grandmother, who would for example only wear a blue jacket with a blue blouse on blue pants. We wanted to take that version of 'correctness' into this era, it is correctness 2010."

Anne also explained that there are many rules and norms within West-African dressing that allowed the students' concept to further snowball. "Whereas for example West-Africans always use six yards of material for upperwear, we created comparable 'regulations' for the lengths of sleeve and skirt hems".

Whether it is in-depth in concept or creative in execution, Collectie Arnhem has triumphed again.


Non by Kim

Kim Bakker is a Dutch men's wear designer and a fashion design lecturer at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Kim searches to break the boundaries within men's wear in her collections, and soes so by using exciting materials and playing with the traditional 'roles' that certain clothing garments / styles play.

Her autumn/winter collection '10/'11 was inspired by Norwegian south-pole explorer, Roald Amundsen who ventured through the Antarctic in 1911.

As frost-bitten models frontiered the runway with icy-eyes and sturdy (Vagabond) boots, it became clear that they could also survive the freezing polar climates.
Kim's collection combined beautiful thick knits with layers of jersey and waxed cotton. The latter of which produced almost cardboard-looking materials fitted into casual-cool men's jackets.

Kim: "I continually aim to redesign men's clothing and always search for new wearable garments, such as woollen 'house-pants', which I derived from woollen upperwear."


Fortis Bank Fasterclass

(pictured above is Merle Deterink, the director at AIFW)

It's the fourth season that Fortis Bank Nederland is the main sponsor at Amsterdam International Fashion Week, and the third time that it's holding its Fashion Fasterclass. The Fashion Fasterclass is an educational program for young fashion talents that brings creativity and a commercial mindset together.

Astrid de Craen, the senior press officer at Fortis explained that 15 talented fashion designers participate with the program. Astrid: "Topics discussed are meant to help the designers understand the business aspects within fashion. Examples of such are financing and intellectual property."

Designers who have participated in the Fashion Fasterclass are: Malousebastiaan, Antoine Peters, Mada van Gaans, Mattijs van Bergen, Glue Jeans, Ignoor, Intoxica, Ontfront, Merel Boers, Herenvankoster, Jessica Joyce, Non by Kim, Omar Munie Clothing and Massuniq.