iAmsterdam
Having only just shaken off the jetlag from the 23-hour flight, this New Zealander is discovering Amsterdam’s charms on a daily basis. Alison has a life-long obsession with all things sartorial, and will keep you ahead of the game in fashion, style and design. No sample sale shall be left unturned.
August 11, 2017

Young designers to watch in 2017

Having only just shaken off the jetlag from the 23-hour flight, this New Zealander is discovering Amsterdam’s charms on a daily basis. Alison has a life-long obsession with all things sartorial, and will keep you ahead of the game in fashion, style and design. No sample sale shall be left unturned.

At the summer edition of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam, up-and-coming design talents not only held their own against established designers, but presented some of the most inspired and thought-provoking collections of the event. These are the ones to watch.

Header image: Team Peter Stigter

STAVREVA KREATOR

The lights dimmed and shaved-headed models with lipstick smudged across their faces stepped on the runway. The looks of Klaudia Stavreva’s impressive collection showcased the designer’s beautifully constructed menswear offset with raw edges and exaggerated proportions. The designer explored the concept of power dressing in reverse, with outsized masculine twills falling from her models’ hips. Erotically-charged detailing in the form of wet-look silicone streaked across singlets and bejewelled ‘BOSS’ underwear worn by the designer herself brought further intrigue to the elegant tailoring.

Image: Team Peter Stigter

Maaike van den Abbeele

Belgian designer Maaike van den Abbeele’s return to Amsterdam was a personal highlight for me. This show raised the bar even further with a sombre collection of jaw-dropping pieces that paid homage to the drama of the Dutch and Belgian Golden Age and brought it into the 21st century. Three-dimensional applique, laser-cut metallic accents, scalloped hems and glittering mesh adorned the thoroughly wearable pieces which spanned from eveningwear to statement sweatshirts. As a final stroke of genius, Van den Abbeele accessorised the garments with lace headpieces, veiling the eyes of the models and distancing the audience from them akin to viewing a Golden Age painting.

Image: Team Peter Stigter

Juliëtte Heijnen

Juliëtte Heijnen has inspired audiences to rethink traditional concepts of menswear since her debut show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam last year. In a bold demonstration of the versatility of her pieces, Heijnen presented some of the looks on a female model. The collection was heavy on streetwear influences, contrasting colours, baggy drawstring pants and sport supporter scarves. A standout piece was a multicoloured ankle-grazing cardi that we’ll all be clamouring for come winter in Amsterdam.

Image: Team Peter Stigter

FIEN

Fien Ploeger brings an adventurous edge to Amsterdam’s established denim offering. The fabric doesn’t easily translate to the runway, but FIEN had us captivated from beginning to end. Inspired by physical transformations made possible through cosmetic surgery, Ploeger nipped, tucked and sculpted a varied collection of denim jumpsuits, jean jackets and acid washes, along with a particularly exciting ‘tattoo’ screen print.

Image: Team Peter Stigter

Political Catwalk

Political Catwalk is an initiative by Stichting F6 that aims to encourage a political dialogue among young people through a design challenge. The successful designs were modelled on the runway by local politicians and touched on a variety of social issues including LGBTQ rights and cultural and gender identity. The winning design by Narjiss Bakali was an avant-garde dress skilfully sculpted into the female symbol in fuchsia and black vinyl. MP Kirsten van den Hul gave the design its runway debut.

Image: RvHfoto

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam returns in January 2018.

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