News & Runway


Day 3 of the Amsterdam International Fashion Week was a day of extremes. On the one hand there was young, rough talent at the Frans Molenaar Prijs 2008, on the other there was the provocation of Iris van Herpen and the casual chic from Monique Collignon.

The Frans Molenaar Prijs 2008 is an award of 10000 euros handed out by the famed Dutch couturier Frans Molenaar to an up and coming couture talent. The winner of last year – menswear designer Maikel Bongaerts – showcased the F/W 08.09 collection that was funded by that winning cheque.

The collection consisted of modern looks for a 1940’s paperboy. He showed pants that were made of pieces of fabric braided together like a woven basket, luxurious coats, hooded sweaters with the same braiding technique and fur collars.

The winner this year was Danny Cremers, who showed a short collection based upon the 1996 film, Female Perversity.

He attempted to create a Jekyl & Hyde effect in his designs, where vulgarity meets class – and he succeeded. His designs were studded with pearls and featured very short hems. The shapes of the dresses were square, with pointy silhouettes at the bust and hips exaggerating the woman’s body. Like his predecessor, he will show a complete collection created with his prize money next year.

Later that day, Iris van Herpen showed her Spring collection. As the models marched to the slow but powerful beat of the music, they tried not to topple over on their platformed, bulky shoes.

The collection was entitled ‘Refinery Smoke’ and Van Herpen played with the many forms and shapes smoke would have when flying away from a fire or cigarette.

The volumes were extravagant and placed at the shoulders, hem, the complete body or just the chest. Those same ironfloss, silver volumes became repetitive after 4 or 5 looks.

Several leather dresses, tassled skirts and one particular number of copercolored chains dangling from a dress were a welcome change of pace in this collection.

Van Herpen is known for her impractical designs, hinting ideas and provoking thoughts about the way women should dress. But this time, the voluminous smokeshapes were shown a tad too much, making it quite unoriginal after some time.

Sadly, the thoughts provoked halfway through the show were ‘next please’.

Closing the day was Monique Collignon’s Pret-A-Porter De Luxe Cruise Spring 08.09 collection.

The runway featured confident models with great walks that heightened the excitement. The collection consisted of daywear – such as a pair of beaded pants and later on the matching jacket, beachwear and of course some breezy chiffon dresses to top it all off. As the models walked, wind would be caught up in the backs of those dresses making them fly up like small parachutes. The sleeves were cut open allowing more air to flow through the flowerprinted and bold colored fabrics.

The collection was a perfect example of a good cruise line, luxury and breeziness perfect for the boat deck. These clothes are made for the mature and wealthy, yet fashion conscious woman. Collignon’s achievements have been constantly well-received. And this time was no exception as I already overheard some wealthy ladies picking out the dresses they simply needed to buy.

What else can a designer ask for?

Photos courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.