donderdag 2 augustus 2012

Amsterdam Fashion Week Day 2 – Melissa Siegrist, Individuals, Karssenberg-Greidanus



By Steven van den Haak


Day two gave a great overview of the younger generation that presented its collections during the fashion week. Melissa Siegrist, Individuals and Karssenberg-Greidanus all showed,  despite of their differences, a similar state of mind. The sensibility of our time, called metamodernism, presented itself through sober and natural fabrics, reinvented classic shapes, yet retaining their traditional essence, and an overall relaxed feel.

                                Melissa Siegrist SS2013, copyright Peter Stigter.


This sense of leisure and relaxing was strongest noticeable in the collection of Melissa Siegrist. She presented sportswear inspired leisurewear made out of beige linen, elegantly piped with white and black.  The clothes had a kind of relaxed feel that reminded of minimalistic American sportswear. The link to sportswear, however, did not decrease the luxury that radiated from the collection. This sense of luxury even intensified when a crisp golden tank top combined with gold linen shorts appeared on the runway. The smart combination of the sobriety of the linen and the gold it was dyed with only increased the richness of the garment. Although gold most of the time instantly reminds of opulence and decadence, the fact that the fabric actually is linen gave these pieces a more modest feel and an intellectual depth, immediately making this collection more than just clothes, more interesting.  


                          Melissa Siegrist SS2013, copyright Peter Stigter.




The minimalism of the clothes, the sharp lines, the graphic details and the smart use of piping, gave a little hint of Siegrist’s inspiration for the collection, among others Berlin’s modernist architecture. Her other source of inspiration, American sportswear, was more obvious, but nonetheless appropriated in excellence.

                   Individuals SS2013, copyright Peter Stigter.


The students from AMFI who did Individuals, always a show to look forward to, clearly took inspiration from tribal dressing and the Middle East. Beading and braiding, weaving and macramé, gold jewelry and a lot of veils and cloaks reminded strongly of the orientalism and exotism we know from the last fifty years of the 19th century, however applied in a very contemporary way. This nostalgia and longing for exotic places, non-Western customs and going back to the pre-civilized bon sauvage are not only the main characteristics of the 19th century Romanticism, but play also an important role in above mentioned metamodernism (read more about metamodernism on www.metamodernisme.com).  
Strong were all the leather pieces, with a brown leather hoody as one of the best garments of the whole collection. Outerwear in general was strong, but a rather large part of it (the whole collection actually) reminded of last season’s collection of Individuals. Of course this is what happens at every label, elements from former collections are re-used, in a different way and in combination with new elements. However, the similarities between the former and the latter show are too close. But this does not make this a bad collection. As mentioned before there were certain garments that excelled in execution and design. 
What did turn off the collection was styling. Often overdone and with an extravaganza of jewelry and accessories, doubt did rise concerning the taste level of the stylist. The combination of the gold jewelry with the white draped garments was definitely not the best choice.


             Individuals SS2013, copyright Peter Stigter.



Some of the pieces did have true potential and were definitely strong. Unembellished as they were, they would have been great on the runway, solely and without all the dangling jewelry and accessories. A simple black leather bomber jacket, for example, slightly longer than usual but fitted at the shoulders, was dispite of all its simplicity a true height.
There was a lot of draping, a lot of playing with proportion and a lot of contrasting textures as leather and jersey. These three can work very well together, think of Damir Doma or Rick Owens. However at Individuals every time there was something just off, a slightly too long tail of a coat or an over-exaggerated skirt.

                   Karssenberg-Greidanus FW2012-13, copyright Peter Stiger.


As if they had anticipated on the dark rainclouds that loomed over Amsterdam, Sanne Karssenberg and Cleo Greidanus presented a collection that would certainly keep the wearer dry. Raindrop-like appliqués and mud smeared wellington boots both signaled the typically Dutch rainy weather in a small but well-composed collection.
‘Protection’ was what the collection seemed to be about, with big draped raincoats and latex cowls that covered not only the hair of the models, but also partly their faces. The first model even had her whole upper body covered in an enormous balloon, which when back at the start of the runway she let explode. The collection was, however, not about enclosure. Coats were hanging open and floating behind the models, the balloon exploded and showed us the model’s face: it was also about opening up.


          Karssenberg-Greidanus FW2012-13, copyright Peter Stiger.



During the balloon scene we experienced a slight Chalayan-vibe, as the baloon after exploding transformed into a skirt and this first look set the tone for the rest of the show. Heavy hardware contrasted sharply with the supple and floating raincoats, and their play with texture, nylon versus rubber, latex versus shear fabric was elegant and interesting. But the most fascinating were the latex veils. Latex always instantly reminds of fetish. Veils, especially draped in this particular way, most of the time signify the Islamic culture. Add to this the muddy wellies and the raincoats (in our eyes symbols for the Dutch weather) and the outcome might be the role of Islamic women in the Netherlands. Did the designers want to create fashionable raincoats for Muslims? Or were the veils just styling. Either way: it suited the collection. 

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