SPRING / SUMMER 2018 COLLECTIONS
Expat Travel Diaries goes to Fashion Week in Amsterdam! We were invited to attend the Saturday shows with PR maven and Creative Collective Partner, Ariel Tinsey. The bi-annual event featuring up and coming Dutch and Belgian designers kicked off Thursday, July 13th through Sunday, July 16th.
HOUSE OF BYFIELD
First up in Gashouder, the House of Byfield Taste of Rainbow collection certainly lived up to its name. The show debuted with a beautiful woman of color in all her big hair don’t care glory donning a rainbow print sheer tiered dress. A diverse array of women in vibrant asymmetrical pieces followed. Men with locs, a nod to Byfield’s Jamaican roots, sported brightly hued shorts and bomber jackets. The colorful display concluded with models strutting in black lace lingerie.
The collection described as a response to terror attacks that have plagued Europe in recent years. Byfield explains, "It's a symbol of peace that shows that we'll stand strong and united if people with different skin colors join together around the world."
Born in Kingston and raised in New York City, Carmichael Byfield founded House of Byfield in 2011 while freelancing in Holland. His style is sporty, colorful elegance, with plenty of flamboyant fabrics and asymmetric shapes.
Next in Gashouder Trinhbecx presented a collection inspired by the Nobuyoshi Araki photo series Beast –in–Flower. Heavily influenced by Araki’s themes of flowers and nostalgia and fascinated with his “quivering use of colors, mundane objects and suggestive tones”, the duo played with volume, shape, composition, and deconstruction.
The result was sensual cocoon like pieces transformed from organic floral shapes created using a subtle twist or knot technique, referencing Japanese rope play ‘Kinbaku-bi’ a recurring theme in Araki’s work. Stunning lacquered jackets and enormous coats and totes also made their way down the catwalk.
Tung Trinh and Tim Becx, the team behind Trinhbecx, are both recent graduates of ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. The pair began developing the label when they joined forces to compete in the 2015 Global Denim Awards. Their aesthetic is marked by their work with contrasting materials like silk, denim, leather, and plastics.
This collection shown in Transformatorhuis had a clear political message about our environment. Inspired by his island roots, the designer’s vibrantly colored floral pieces were paired with inflatable fish, netting and plastic bag accessories making a strong statement effects of corporate greed on our waters.
Talented newcomer Rushemy Botter already has considerable credits. He debuted a VFILES at New York Fashion Week, developed his own fragrance and worked alongside Naomi Campbell and Jerry Lorenzo, all before graduation. His work tackles issues like racism, corruption, and terrorism. He hopes to branch out with a women’s wear collection soon.
Last but certainly not least was the stunning 10th-anniversary collection - Les Antoinettes, by Dennis Diem. The Dutch corset king wowed with his homage to his ultimate muse, Marie Antoinette. The French queen meets Hollywood affair kicked off with a model in a gorgeous sheer, crystal encrusted gown playing an equally fabulous jeweled cello on a rotating platform. The audience was treated to a 360 view of the grand display, which was divided into five periods representing Antoinette’s life.
Demure ethereal like frocks in satin marked the NUDE period, Diem’s reference to Antoinette's innocence and youth. PEARL, denoting her years as queen and style icon, pumped up the glam with the use of satin, chiffon and handmade mother-of-pearl appliqués. The BLACK period, symbolizing the death of her children and the outbreak of the French revolution, featured a dramatic number with full skirt and veil made with layers and layers of tulle. Finally, the tragic queen meets her end at the guillotine with RED BLOOD. Her demise interpreted with deep red satin coat dress that can be only described as regal. Diem’s glamorous ode concluded with GOLD, “a reference to how Antoinette is seen today; a saint larger than life itself.” This period included with a finale gown made from thousands of hand-cut sequins, hand gilded in 23-karat gold and sewn by hand.
Diem graduated from Marja van Riel Fashion Academy in Rotterdam in 2000. Since then he has been working on his label, using Marie Antoinette's original corsets, as inspiration for his handmade designs.
Amsterdam Fashion Week is much like the city, small and laid back. It was on a much smaller scale than New York or Paris but we had an amazing time seeing the promising young designers. Special thanks to Ariel
for the invitation!