Michael van der Ham has a distinctly hands-on approach to conceptualizing a new collection, and his starting point is more likely to be found in the vaults of a storied French textile mill than pinned to a mood board. Having launched onto the scene straight out of Central Saint Martins four years ago in a riot of collaged dévoré, van der Ham has set up a richly textured playing field for his label, and this season lavish fille coupe jacquards caught his eye.
The defining silhouette, an A-line shift that fell to the knee, gave a tight focus for his mixed-media experimentations. Once upon a time the hemline on a van der Ham might have swung in multiple directions before, but nowadays he’s finding more subtle ways to incorporate his signature patchwork. The translucent, burnout-like puddles in the fabric had a flattering effect on the body, alluding gently to the décolleté.
This grown-up and polished look has gathered a stable of dedicated fans, and the Dutch-born designer has been wise to keep an ear open to feedback. After several of his loyal followers asked for full evening renditions of his signature cocktail dresses, he started exploring the idea for the runway, and his closing floor-length and embellished looks took things in an interesting direction. Ditto for the spaghetti strap pieces that gathered in rounded pleats around the waist and looked as if they came in two moveable parts. Clearly there are still plenty of new places for his line to go.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Runway: Photography by Umberto Fratini / InDigitalimages
Details: Photography by Stefano Masse / InDigitalimages
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