Softly, softly, that's the Michael van der Ham approach. Not only with his exquisite patchwork of luxe textiles that he's become so known for, but in terms of upping his profile, too. You won't find a starry celeb crowd on the front row detracting from the intricate macro-detailing of his work (although a very engrossed Poppy D was in attendance), or a frenzy over entry price-point must-haves like a sweatshirt instead of the main event. Instead Mr van der Ham keeps things mysteriously subtle.
It was the designer's first ever show outside of the Topshop or BFC support zone and for this occasion, Michael went grand. The ostentatiously gilt interiors of Café Royal on London's Regent Street played backdrop to his very refined vision of a lady. Inspired by a portrait book of provincial African workers, van der Ham's swathes of fabric took on a new and exotic finish, with animal prints making a warped entrance (well, you didn't expect flashy trashy leopard, did you?). What also surfaced were almost randomly placed tiny, twinkly crystals and floral blooms of sequins , courtesy of Swarovski. From moodboard to final realisation, here's how MvdH made it happen…
'These are paper collage prints developed for printed commercial additions (t-shirts and sweaters) to the collection but also used for artwork later embroidered with Swarovski crystal for the dresses in the runway show.'
'Vintage references used as inspiration; homemade embroidered dresses and designers dresses too.'
'I love the surreal Schiaparelli dress, it's embroidered by Lesage.'
'Crystal detail on one of the runway dresses; it's a cotton jacquard skirt with 3-d embroidery. I used crystal mesh balls, crystal filigrees, pendants and set-in stones too.'
'Initial sketches for placement ideas for the embroidery placements.'
See Michael van der Ham's full Spring 2014 collection in the gallery below...