The runway shows at the Mercedes-Benz Fashionweek Nederland are held at The Westergas terrein. Dutch fashion designers will show in two places at The Gashouder which is the main building, and at the smaller Transformatorhuis (January 23rd.> January 27)
Opening Night of Amsterdam’s FashionWeek
Mattijs kicked off at the main venue of the mercedes-benz catwalk. Picture this: On the stage a row of leafless trees. Opening in a very quiet way was a woman in a black evening dress singing Starry Night a-capella, she was pregnant. (This is Jolanda van den Berg, actress and the muse of Mattijs.) After she finished her song the models came on stage showing an autumn leaf color palette in plissee, prints (inspired by the painting techniques and the use of colors by Van Gogh) and knitwear. It seems like Mattijs toys around with the bounderies of couture and ready to wear. His choice of fabric is high-end, the shapes less so. He loves to mix, for example “evening wear” with a casual sweater. His autumn-winter 2014 is called Complementary.
MAISON the FAUX showed for the first time ever in the smaller Transformatorhuis venue. The show was opened by an opera singer (a member of maison the faux) she performed throughout the entire show getting more and more heated-up towards the end, we loved that! Maison the Faux created an orchestrated chaos on the catwalk and showed about twelve outfits, very extravagant ones, worn by young and older models, all in a pandemonium of pink, plush, ruffles, flowers and glitter. This show was clearly an introduction to the Maison the Faux Family, not so much to a collection of clothing. At the end the entire “family” (they are 6 in total including PR) came to clean up the stage creating an atmosphere in which the audience didn’t leave. Neither did we. We lingered on and went backstage to view the designs up-close: they are really more detailed and refined than one can comprehend during such a vibrant show!
Aziz Bekkaoi closed the first evening of the fashionweek in Amsterdam at the Gashouder. The Dutch newspapers were filled with reads on Aziz last week-end, probably because he showed for the first time in 10 years in Amsterdam. Aziz’s inspiration was clear and simple: the streets of the inner city in New-York with it’s mixed religion and different cultures in the eighties of the previous century. That was clear from the opening of the show on; a large group of dancers dressed in black bomber jackets moving to “Fight the power” by Public Enemy. This tight frame he chose for his collection worked very well. He translated Eighties icons such as bomber jackets, uniforms, lace boots in a dark color scheme of black/grey and dark green with hints of gold and red into a divers collection. From straight forwarded jackets and bermuda’s to draped floor-lenght dresses. The models strutted the runway in a powerful, street-wise way on Dr Martens-like footwear. We got to see a balanced collection of what seemed like hunderds of garments. Aziz didn’t thank the audience but he was the last model to walk the catwalk, on his second strut followed by all the models and the people who worked backstage: Lights on: Finished. We thought this show was stunning! So very well executed; simple in it’s form and very to the point, poetic without trying to hard.
Day 2 of Amsterdam’s FashionWeek
Newcomer at FashionWeek Amsterdam Atelier Maria Lux cut the runway of the Gashouder in half by using one side of the tribune as stage. This was the third show accompanied by live music, there was a difference to the performances at Mattijs and Maison the Faux. The all-girl pop band (brought together by Maria Lux) was the show. The band doubled as, stunning, models. They played “Cry me a river” both in the Julie London and the Justin Timberlake version. While they were playing a small group of about eight women showed in a traditional way, but they mostly got to sit opposite of the audience while smoking cigarettes and listening to the music, just like we did (without the smokes that is). The models wore chique ensembles (no trousers) and coats in high quality fabrics. The designs by Maria Lux are very feminine with a silhouette and coupe reminiscent of the first half of the previous century: it’s High-end pret-a-porter for a mature audience.The styling of the outfits was the key to the “rock and roll” image; lots of jewelry per person (designed by The Gem Kingdom) and leather accessories (designed by C. Cruden.) Near the end Lllian Driessen came on stage to introduce the band, she didn’t introduce herself but we know she is the founder and designer of Maria Lux. She could have easily been one of the models, she was part of her own show, and left the stage with the entire group. We had a great time at this intimate all-round show and we could have spent more time enjoying it.
Francisco van Benthum, presented his winter collection for men, at the Gashouder. This collection was all about Russia. He was inspired by Constructivism (the art movement) and named his collection like wise: Con-Struct. An inspiration not far apart from his usual style; his clothes always have straight, clean lines and lot’s of color-blocking (even his trademark is a (black) rectangle sewn on in various forms.) An other source of inspiration was the current protest mentality against human rights in Russia; in his collection translated into street-wear like shapes mostly of the track-suit kind. van Benthem teamed up with Dutch graffiti artists IKWILGRAFFITI for some rebelious, handmade prints. Everything combined resulted in a crisp collection full of soft touches. In real life we, at Mimi Berlin, truly hate füsball/soccer/voetbal supporters, but during this show, meticulously styled by Jos van Heel, we adored the ones created by Francisco van Benthum, white socks including.
Jan Boelo, This show was the fourth show we saw which was accompanied by Live music and it started with Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” Probably to get us in the mood for what was to become a very romantic show (with a Rock & Roll edge.) Jan Boelo’s collections always have a R&R feel to them but were never as romantic as this one. The models showed none of the usual R&R ingredients like the sturdy, aggressive strut or the raw-sex accessories with shiny hardware. No, they passed along the catwalk in a dreamy almost demure way, (Maybe they were in mourning for Lou Reed?) After seeing the soft leather tops, floor-lenght dresses etcetera, all in natural colors. we went home feeling peaceful.
Mimi Berlin doesn’t always read the background stories written by the press agents of the designers. After seeing a fashion show we write down our opinion, sometimes based only on our knowledge. Our opinion is not necessarily the truth, but most of the time it is, in our opinion. But if we are wrong please do not hesitate to tell us.