20 September 2010

LFW S/S '11 Report: Michael van der Ham

After two seasons with Fashion East, a solo show at the huge Topshop venue at Waterloo is incredibly daunting. So you can't blame Michael van der Ham for not making an appearance on the catwalk post-show. Although he had nothing to fear and I've never seen an audience wait so patiently for a designer to step out to accept his applause.

This may be only his third collection as part of London Fashion Week, but MVDH was the most anticipated of the week. Where last year people loved it but were concerned that he couldn't develop past his early Andy Warhol references (his first collections were influenced by the artist's collage dresses), Michael has added and enhanced the initial concept. Looking to the work of Hollywood costume designer, Adrian, and designer Schiaparelli, the collection was less naïve and far more glamorous.

The collage element was still strong, but it was more refined. Opening with soft coloured separates and developing into dresses combined of such strong beautiful tones - purples, neon yellow, dusty pink, forest green, cerise, red, ivory - in a variety of neoprene, hand-made devore and silk. The silk pleat-front trousers combined with must-have blouses, floated down the runway, and had one member of the Grazia team asking how much they may retail at.

Backstage Michael looked calm, regardless of a crowd of baiting editors desperate to congratulate him. Hopefully that will persuade him to make an appearance on the catwalk next season. The fans deserve it.

- Kay Barron


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