Iris van Herpen Haute Couture FW2016 Backstage

It was an unforgettable and magical show/presentation yesterday at Iris van Herpen in the l’Oratoire du Louvre, an 18th-century Protestant church. The Dutch designer stood her models on concrete plinths as Japanese musician Kazuya Nagaya brushed his golden Zen bowls, producing pings and drones that reverberated through the space. That magical vibe was also created by the use of thin fabrics and special textiles used fro frothy and ethereal dresses in the palest colors, the simplest a long sheath resembling morning dew on wet skin. We took a close look backstage at the show.

Alexander Wang for Balenciaga

December 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items

For five years now Alexander Wang (28) has kicked off almost every single fashion season as one of the first designers to show during New York Fashion Week. Since 2007 the young designer has managed to generate raving reviews and created a solid international fanbase of people crazy for his sportswear inspired, edge creations. Wang has high profile fans all around the world; from Rihanna to Olivia Palermo and12 own stores even though the fashion house is still a family business.

And while the success of this young label continues to grow, Wang is taking on another challenge at Balenciaga (and will travel between New York and Paris to do so). As the new creative director of the Parisian fashion house Wang will follow in the footsteps of Nicolas Ghesquière, who left the house last month after 15 years. A new designer potentially means the start of a new Balenciaga era.

With Wang on board the French label might be able to reach a wider audience, create more selling points and perhaps even better price points. And maybe Balenciaga, which has been high end and exclusive (even the number of catwalk photographers allowed at shows was extremely limited) since it was founded by Cristobal Balenciaga in 1937, could use a bit of Wang’s American commercialism. Even though the label did very well with Ghesquière as it’s designer.

There’s no doubt Wang will do a great job as Ghesquière’s successor. But, what can we expect?

The sporty elements and the mixing of materials will stay, no doubt about that. Wang, who is already going through Balenciaga’s archives, might start experimenting with more colors and prints, something he never really did for his own (very black-oriented) label. We might start to see more of Balenciaga’s heritage brought back to live. Clothing may become more approachable once Wang’s extraordinary streetwise twist is added. And perhaps the thirties fashion house will get a modern touch up (even though this winter’s out of the blue galaxy prints were pretty futuristic) in order to reach a global audience.

Yet the CEO of Balenciaga’s parent company PPR, François-Henri Pinault, already stated not a whole lot is going to change: “The challenge taken by Alexander, which I really liked in discussions with him, is for him to express his talent in a different situation for another brand with its own DNA, and he’s absolutely excited with that.”

One thing’s for certain; his first autumn/winter 2013/2014 shake up is going to be a good one. And we can’t wait to take a sip from this Balenciaga-Wang cocktail.

Let’s take a look back on some of Wang’s most outstanding designs in the gallery below.

Casablanca Fashion Week 2012 Preview: Said Mahrouf

One of the designers who will show his collection at Casablanca Fashion Week is Said Mahrouf (40). He is the one who invited Team Peter Stigter to Casablanca. That’s no coincidence, since Mahrouf lived for more than 30 years in the Netherlands – he came to our country with his parents when he was 9 – and studied Fashion Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. This year in January he presented his collection for the first time at Amsterdam Fashion Week.

Mahrouf is fascinated by the interaction between human movements and space. He gradually focused his work on designing costumes for site-specific performances. His work has been displayed at the New Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, both in New York, the Utrecht Central Museum, the Amsterdam Municipal Museum, Carriage Works Gallery in Sydney and in Casablanca’s Loft Gallery. In 2011 he was appointed artistic director of the 15th edition of Morocco’s main traditional fashion event, Caftan, which was broadcast live from Marrakech. Said Mahrouf presents a ready-to-wear collection at Festimode-Casablanca Fashion Week annually.

His fashion-collections are an ode to femininity and elegance. The soft, sensual lines of his designs truly come to life on a female body. And his clientele in Casablanca loves it. After years of living in Amsterdam and traveling the world, Said Mahrouf returned  to Casablanca in 2010 definitely. In his atelier he designs and sells ready to wear de luxe. And it made him a celebrity in Morocco. Moroccan fashion is often traditional in spirit, what Mahrouf designs is considered avant-garde. And elite wants that.

Team Peter Stigter visited the designer in his atelier in Casablanca for a preview of his new collection, which is inspired by the colors of Marrakech.

More information about Said Mahrouf and Casablanca Fashion Week


Catwalk Fashion Show Amsterdam Claes Iversen FW2012

March 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Events, Fashion, Featured Items, womenswear

After a few super feminine, glamorous collections designer Claes Iversen decided to opt for a slightly darker, tougher fall winter feeling. In de Oude Kerk in the city center of Amsterdam, yet another great and unique show area picked by the Danish designer, he presented his new range of clothes he has worked on for the last six months.

Inspired by a tea cup turned upside down Claes came up with beautifully shaped dresses and coats. They portrayed feminine silhouettes in contrast with lots of volume at the upper body.

More contrast came in the dynamic between masculinity and femininity, gorgeous highly embroidered, items versus minimalistic pieces and dark shades like burgundy, deep green and black combined with light, fresh tones like orange, white and mint.

Still the overall dark feeling came through in every single look, emphasized by the models’ dark lips, their hair in their faces and long, black leather gloves. It felt kind of Gothic (good match with the show location), yet Claes managed to still keep it beautiful.

He surprised us by presenting a white smoking as a wedding‘dress’ and a suit jacket as an evening gown. He woke us up by showing something different than just beautiful and feminine. Yet he stayed true to his detailed craftsmanship and his excellent taste. Hats off for Claes for taking a risk, but not taking it too far.

Marloes Blaas Preview Amsterdam Fashion Week

January 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Amsterdam, Fashion, Featured Items, womenswear

Marloes Blaas will show her fall/winter 2012/2013 collection on Friday 27 January at 04.00 PM. She spoke with us about her brand new collection and how she came up with her source of inspiration.

“I have showed my work during Amsterdam Fashion Week before, but it was always pretty tough to come up with the large amount of money they charge designers. This year I have the help of sponsor shoelabel Clarks, which I am very grateful for. They even provided me with shoes from their f/w2012/2013 collection, which are now produced earlier especially for my show.”

“My collection is called ‘A common silver spoon’ and is based on a Dutch saying (Geboren met een zilveren lepel in de mond). I came up with this when I was on the phone with my mum. She told me she had some old silver for me, which I maybe could use in my work. Right then the inspiration for my collection was born.”

“The collection is built around the after war period. In other collections I used to look at the forties; this time I focused more on the fifties, a prosperous period in which everyone seemed to be doing well. It was a time of solidarity, working together and large families. Especially those family portraits intrigued me. I started looking and old photo-albums from my mother’s family (she grew up in a family of 12 children). People used to really dress up in their best clothes. They didn’t look at all like themselves, but they did put a lot of effort into those pictures. I used bits and pieces of looks from that time and translated them into something modern.”

“My collection of 20 looks is divided into 3 parts. 1. In the first part jewelry plays a big role. I used real silver spoons and made necklaces out of them. The clothes in this first part are heavy, dark and are made in shades of grey and black. 2. The second part of the collection is more tough. For this part I studied old school pictures. They inspired me to come up with several school uniforms and school bags. 3. For the third part, which is more about the reconstruction after the war,  I used my own print with rocks. It has shades of burgundy and sand in it.”

Yohji Yamamoto Catwalk Fashion Show Paris ss2012

October 1, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Paris, womenswear

Our review will follow shortly

Preview AIFW – SIS by Spijkers en Spijkers SS2012

July 12, 2011 by  
Filed under AIFW, Amsterdam, Fashion, Featured Items, Preview, womenswear

This upcoming edition of the Amsterdam International Fashion Week the twins sisters Riet en Truus Spijkers will be the first to show their  SIS collection. We spoke to the sisters about this new collection and what kind of story they will be telling during the opening event.

“We’re very excited to be part of the opening show this season. For us that’s even better than just doing a regular fashion show. It results in a lot of media attention, which is one of the reasons we decided to show during Amsterdam Fashion Week. More media coverage results in more requests for our collection and that’s always good.”

It’s only one year ago that Spijkers en Spijkers launched it’s little sister SIS, yet so far the new line is doing great. “We are getting applications for the collections from abroad as well. SIS is now being sold in countries like Italy, Japan and Australia.”

As for the new summer collection we can expect nothing but summery/sunny clothing. “The collection is sunny, optimistic and a little naughty. The theme is Bain du Soleil. Again it will have some twenties references, which we also used in our music. The soundtrack will be modern but with a definite twenties twist.”

Like in every collection the sisters chose a certain woman as their female muse for the collection. “This time Olympic swimmer Zus Braun gave the designers their inspiration. Due to that the collection has some slightly sporty details in it, but mostly done in a very feminine way.”

“The clothes will have a tight fit and come in colors like rose, pistachio, amber and nautical blue. There are some bright Au Bain de Soleil prints as well. We used cotton, crêpe de chine and some very comfy jerseys. It’s just a fun collection, so we’re very much looking forward to the show.”

SIS by Spijkers en Spijkers will be shown on Wednesday evening 13 July at 6.30 p.m.

Preview AIFW – Sage & Ivy SS2012

The Sage & Ivy fashion show is part of the official Amsterdam International Fashion Week program for the first time this season. Yet, as designer Alexia van Engelen tells us, the label is still giving the audience something different…

“When we were approached by the AIFW if we wanted to join the official schedule, we had one condition: we still wanted to be able to create our own little Sage & Ivy world around the show. We didn’t want to use just an ordinary, plain, white catwalk. We discussed all possibilities and are now showing the new Sage & Ivy collection near the pond of the Westergasterrein. This means the models are going to be walking on a catwalk build over water. We’re very excited”

And though the concept alone is already interesting, water has a special meaning in Alexia’s new collection too. “The collection is called hemisphere and is inspired by water. Yet not in an too obvious matter. You’ll see the water in reflections, the golden color it creates when the sun sets, the many colors that appear when the sun shines at it and the transparency of water.”

These diverse sides of water are brought to live in a two sided collection. “On one side it shows Greek influences like draping, braiding and lots of volume. On the other side you’ll see day wear with a seventies vibe (high pants and accentuated shoulders). Bianca Jagger really was the inspiration for this since she used to mix those two styles together in her impeccable looks.”

The whole Sage & Ivy collection consists of 24 looks, all handcrafted in small studios in Belgium and Germany (no longer in Morocco, like before). The fabrics as well as the colors of the collection breath femininity. “We used shades like light pink, light green, grey, gold and some degrade. All looks were made from materials like jersey, lace, chiffon, organza, satin, cotton and a special wool melange. There are many feminine pieces in the collection but in the show we will always combine a very feminine, elaborating item with a more simple and cool (almost manly) piece. Just wait and see…”

The Sage & Ivy show will be held on Friday 15 July at 8 p.m.

Preview AIFW – Quoc Thang SS2012

July 10, 2011 by  
Filed under AIFW, Amsterdam, Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Preview

With his new collection of menswear (Quoc Thang has been making menswear for the past 1,5 years) Quoc Thang is about to head into a whole new direction. It will be his third time presenting his collection during Amsterdam International Fashion Week and he couldn’t be more excited.

“Presenting my work during fashion week is a great way to reach a big audience. Perhaps it doesn’t directly result in making a lot of money, but artistically it’s the right thing to do.”

Thang’s new collection tells the story of an adventurer defying cold area’s in search of security and safety. “It’s called A Place Over There (Een Plek Daarginds in Dutch) and – like all my collections so far – it has something to do with the vulnerability and transitory of life. My inspiration comes from conversations, exhibitions and every day things. I always write things down.”

Shades & fabrics
“The new collection is pretty silent when it comes to color. We used multiple blues and greys and a touch of green here and there. The designs are made of fabrics like high tech nylon and wool. We also used a waxed cotton, which we’re very proud of since it’s hard to get.”

“Everything will be completely different; our strategy, our philosophy and the way we built up the collection. We used the 3 x 3 x 3 concept, based on the idea of a pair of pants, a top and a jacket.” It might sound somewhat vague right now, but according to Thang everyone will immediately be able to see the changes he made during the show.

Thang’s motivation to head into this new direction seems reasonable: “We noticed the big audience wasn’t really getting our collections when we showed them. We – and I think fashion in general – are ready for something new.”

And with just a few days ahead before the show Quoc Thang couldn’t be more prepared. “Our collection is completely ready, so we’re not worrying about time. I’ve done this a few times now so I now the ropes.”

Quoc Thang will present his collection on Saturday 16 July at 6 p.m.

Trend Report SS2011: Walk The Line

May 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, womenswear

Next to the blue and white navy-like stripes there is another world of stripes we just need to discuss. Those stripes are bold, wide and come in many different shades.

Prada’s stripes definitely are the most recognizable ones (also since they’re copied all over the world by high street fashion houses). Blue, pink, green, orange; the brighter, the better.

Karl Lagerfeld chose diagonal stripes for fendi and at Jil Sander they were extremely wide and vertical. Watanabe’s models looked like they’d just escaped from prison and Marc Jacobs gave his striped dresses a vintage feeling due to his choice of color.

We saw so many stripes on the runway, it seems there’s no way you can do without them this summer. And our advice, if you go for some stripes is: don’t hold back! Let them stand out & just have fun with it.


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