Sunday, July 11, 2010

DOWNTOWN Dress up!

Various new designers filled a spot in the building on the Raamgracht for Fashion week DOWNTOWN. Walking in the little pop-up-store-ish environment enthusiastic young designers cannot wait to show you their stuff. Some make jewelry, others clothing or bags. While yesterday models UNdressed from the pieces of the present designers, today everybody was invited to dress UP in those same clothes.

Oskar Fitts

Stop looking for Oskar, he’s fictive. Instead of a tall Swedish looking boy we find a petit girl by the name of Renske Versluijs. Together with old classmate Lieke Zonnenberg, she created the creative and conceptual brand Oskar Fitts. ‘Oskar is a character from the book Extremely loud and incredibly close, he’s a philosophizing boy, always thinking about things no-one ever thinks about. Fitts is the last name from Ricky Fitts, a character from American Beauty. The scene where he’s fascinated by the unexpected beauty of a whirling plastic bag is representative for our conception of beauty’. The key ingredient of the designing process for the two HKU-graduates lies in gathering. Everything out of the ordinary life that has a sudden beauty is collected and used as an inspiration for their clothing. ‘We find it important that our clothing is a little misunderstood at first, you have to look closer to understand it. That our clothing is astonishing is what want to achieve’.

Daniela Larue

Daniela Larue is an illustrative artist and fashion designer graduated from the Maastricht art academy (ABK). Larue has a conceptual way of designing, using stories and associations as her inspiration. Fliehende Sturme is the name of her newest clothing collection. The pieces are based on the idea of being locked up and the need to escape. Like a princess in a tower who has to tie sheets to escape out of the window, Larue created pieces that associates with that scenario. ‘For me, designing is a game of restrictions, my clothing has to fit in a certain frame. So for Fliehende Sturme, I obliged myself to use materials that would only be available in a high tower chamber such as sheets and pillow cases’. Larue also prefers to work with old and pure materials that she gathers in second hand stores and re-uses in a new and different garment. The blue dress on the wall is made out of old upside down trousers, the bottom has a zipper and can by tied by a belt. ‘I use an old pair of slacks as a jacket and a skirt as a top. I like it when old garments can be used for a new one’. The strength of Larue’s clothing is that at first you don’t see the details of the old garment but you see the new garment she mad out of it. For example; the top Larue is wearing on the photo, was actually a skirt.

Written by Karin Aalberts
Photo's by Chelsea Syrett

Copypaste by Catta Donkersloot and Lisa Kortenhorst

Fashion designer Catta Donkersloot and photographer Lisa Kortenhorst worked together on, again, a unique exhibition. They’ve already showed their clothing and photo’s, inspired by several books, in hotel rooms that were all furnished in a specific theme and they made a show where they switched the role between models and guests which made the guests on the catwalk the ones that were being stared at. At this exhibition, that is showed till july 18 at Damrak 70, the twosome emailed each other without saying one word. Kortenhorst would send an photo or image to Donkersloot, who responded with an outfit, from there on Kortenhorst goes along with a photo that is based on the outfit and so on and so on.

This question-answer concept forced them to create new images in a certain amount of time. It began with a photo by Kortenhorst, who is located in Berlin, she took a picture of the Jewish memorial and edited it into an image of abstract black and white shapes. The exhibition is located in an old office building and set in -as it looks like- an old direction room. Through a window you can see the correspondence between the tho artists in a chamber below. Behind the dresses the images of the email-session are showed.

Fascinating how working with so many restrictions, leads to new point of views with interesting results and ultimately to an excellent collaboration. Kortenhorst confirms that that is the reason why they ‘would do anything to get round the ordinary catwalkshow’. The second half of Copypaste will be showed at Berlin Fashion Week in January 2011.

Photos by Chelsea Syrett

Written by Karin Aalberts

Jardin de Modes: Carte blanche, fashion as you create it

Maison Descartes opened it's lovely garden for the DOWNTOWN public. The green and specious garden of the French institute formed the scenery for a giant photoshoot by photographer Michelle-Aimee van Tongerloo. Visitors had the opportunity to dress up and be photographed in this romantic setting. Even the writer and photographer of this blog couldn't escape from a little bit of modelling in the summer heat. Photo's will follow soon!


Individuals today gave a glimps of what their collection that will be on the catwalk Thursday looks like. The line that carries the name Some dream of running away to the circus is inspired on.. guess what; the circus. Individuals made sure that they didn’t give too much away of the actual collection but one of the designers of this newest collection of Individuals, Lisa Whittle assures us that the show will be more daring than the shows before, ‘It’s is a bigger show and also more risky and experimental, it’s a little less on the safe side’. 

The eight AMFI students that designed the new collection for Individuals; Lisa Whittle, Selina van Grondele, Steffi Dekkers, Marleen Hilbrink, Xiawen Ji, Blathnaid Geoghegan, Catelijn Visser en Doortje van den Heuvel. (Not in right order)

‘The pieces are frivolous and playful. It’s a normal girl during the day going out at night and let loose. Searching for freedom and airiness. That’s why unlike last season the pieces are very loose. The idea came from a trapeze artist falling down, the pieces we made shape beautifully falling down’, explains Whittle.

Photos by Vincent Kos

Written by Karin Aalberts


Barbie loves De Bijenkorf

It started out with a petit plastic doll that included long blond hair, big blue eyes, an imperturbable smile, impossible body sizes and a pink dress that hurts your eyes. Although little brothers seemed to like nothing more than to cripple and troture our most precious property and an old barbie was quickly forgotten with the coming of a more fancy modern pregnant barbie with a loose belly (incl. baby barbies offcourse) our love for the plastic icon is eternal.


Last year Barbie turned fifty and to celebrate her still charming and youthful appearance several designers showed their view on how a true barbie dress should look like. This year five dutch designers (Bas Kosters, Claes Iversen, Miss Blackbirdy, Spijkers en Spijkers and Addy van den Krommenacker) repeated this ode to Barbie, designing their own Barbie dress. At the Barbie loves de Bijenkorf event those dresses were shown as well as five New York designs (Nicole Miller, Koi Suwannagate, Betsey Johnson, David Dixon and Parvesh & Jai) from last year.


Bas Kosters is with his personal collection of 151 barbies probably the biggest Barbie expert of the bunch. He created a short dress with a handmade patern and big shoulderspads made of colourful and decorative facings.

The dramatic long turquoise gown that Addy van den Krommenacker designed for Barbie is not that different from the dresses he usually shows. As he confirms himself Barbie fits perfectly in his feminine and elegant clothing.

A suprising colour input came from Miss Blackbirdy. Instead of screaming bright colours, she choose for a subtle nude. The drawings she made for the dress were layered upon the nude, ‘I drawed my dream dress, a dress that every girl would want to wear. Long, elegant with bows and everything’.

The jumpsuit that Spijkers & Spijkers created, showed a side of Barbie we didn’t quite knew yet. With this androgyne look Barbie is definitely not old fashioned and ready to hit the town 2010 style.

The pink and Short (with a capital S) dress that Claes Iversen designed for Barbie was with it’s 15.000 crystals definitely not an easy job to make but resulted in a delicious doll-like dress. Iversen says he was aiming for a dress that feels like it is made for a doll, ‘I wanted to enlarge the small Barbie, but still keep it very doll-like’. Iversen also adds that the dress actually is quite in line with his last collection, ‘That collection was made for a girly girl, I think this dress is very similar to that clothing’.

For the true Barbie lovers SuperTrash designed Barbie nightgowns wich are now for sale at de Bijenkorf.

Photos by Vincent Kos

Written by Karin Aalberts