The Michael van der Ham
signature is printed fabrics juxtaposed. This season, van der Ham hit on the savvy idea of looking to tribal Africa for inspiration, using wrapping and tying techniques, as well as ikat and indigo. The overall effect was very soigné, never mind van der Ham's self-described "naive" sewing techniques, which included seizing a bouffant skirt in a rough clutch of asymmetrical gathers, or simply topstitching fabrics together. He also did well with his dressy coats—as he put it, he wanted to give women something to wear on top of their fancy clothes when they go to a party. That's a real dilemma for a lot of gals, in fact, and van der Ham's natty topcoats saw to the problem nicely.