Above: Bao Yao Fei
For years the Royal Academy of Arts The Hague has been climbing the fashion ladder producing new talent to follow in the footsteps of Erik Frenken and Claes Iversen. This year the students delivered some incredible collections at the show held in The Hague’s Icy city hall.
Moving from ivory white, silver grey and peach tones to much stronger pallet of night blue, coral red and blacks, Bao Yao Fei let his Asian roots inspire him to add details such as a kimono-style bow to the back of a plissé dress. Fei also transformed knots of silver wire tied into a long, medieval-looking transparent dress.
To the contrary Hoi Man Cheung, who interned at Erdem in London early this year, kept her Asian heritage far removed from the drawing board as she explored the relationship between fascism and fashion in Italy for her collection. Models marched out in predominantly black-and-white business suits, strapped at the waistline by slim, bronze metallic bands. Details like a classic pied-de-poule print in fake-crocodile leather added some playfulness.
Charlotte Greeven proved that nothing is what it seems. At first glance her ‘Don’t you love her madly’ collection oozes romance with all the pale pink shades and fragile fabric flowers, but in fact it yields a morbid twist. She based the design of her top pieces on the American serial killer, Ed Gein, who made dresses from the skin of his victims and the decorative flowers are the funeral bouquet.
Chrissie Houtkooper’s fascination with Shamanism lead her to create a collection ripe with organic shapes, abstract prints and an overall supernatural look.
David Laport‘s collection was also out of this world. His skill in the art of plisses blew away the entire audience as he not only made the harmonica shaped fabrics stand up straight, but really had them looking like they could survive a windstorm of any strength.
The plisse gala continued with Miriam de Waard, who drew inspiration from the emotions, fears and frustrations of female night guards left in charge of protecting a group of sleepers. It resulted in a beautifully styled collection of water coloured designs filled with plisses, digital prints and feathered headpieces, demonstrating her sense of depth and craftsmanship impeccably.
Another fan of the digital printing technique is Tessa van de Meerendonk, who believes prints are meant to dance in front of your eyes. Add some beasty details like fabric dear antlers and hairy skirts, jackets and shoes, and you leave even the worst critic in awe.
Hairy, boosting of colour and fun were also the designs of Evelien Pruissen, who used her memories as an only child as inspiration. Growing up she wished a brother or a sister for every birthday as a present, so for this collection she recreated the family she never had and so dearly missed.
Photo credits: Ron Stam