The London fashion scene is so small, that everyone feels rather protective of its designers, so when one nails a show there is almost a mother’s sense of pride. And after Michael van der Ham’s show yesterday, the venue became a big clucking mother’s meeting.
There has never been any doubt that Michael is another great talent from St Martins, but critics were doubtful that he could create a sustainable business from his collaged dresses and separates. But this season he moved on in huge steps, adding in a more commercial element (not a dirty word, designers have to make money too), while still retaining his point of difference. Michael makes a good dress, we all know that, and as much as we’d like to live in them, there are only so many fabulous parties that a girl is invited to. And while his artisan dresses are still very much at the centre of his SS ’12 collection, he’s developed his brand into product that women will want to wear to everything, all the time. His now signature collage fabrics were printed on silk shirts, simple t-shirts and elegant gowns, hardly revolutionary you may think, but made all the difference.
‘He’s gone all Net-a-Porter on us’, said one fashion editor post-show. And there is definitely nothing wrong with that.