Michael van der Ham
February 19, 2012 London
Van der Ham cited Veronica Lake and the Ziegfeld Follies as inspiration. Perhaps that old Hollywood gloss accounts for the amped-up luxury here. It stood out most in all the metallic—the gold lace that was appliquéd on a semi-sheer jacquard in soft skirts and burnished silver bouclé tops. As for those Follies, they came through in the blousy drama of the abstract prints worked into some dresses, and you struggled a little to let these grip you in the way that van der Ham's work can do. That wasn't an issue for the chic trio that closed the show; their components of top, skirt, and back of dress had an easier-to-parse simplicity. But not all was as it seemed. As two walked by you, you saw a flash of bright underskirt through a slit. They were like the three wise women, leading the way to a promising new direction.