August 23 2014

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2 posts tagged "Amsterdam Fashion Week"

At Amsterdam Fashion Week, One More Reason To Go Green


It’s not so long since the mere mention of “green fashion” was enough to bring the fashion set out in an eco-fiber-induced rash. But as Dutch supermodel Lonneke Engel, the Bruce Weber-discovered former face of Ralph Lauren and Bottega Veneta, told Saturday night at a party to launch the second global Green Fashion Competition at Amsterdam fashion week, “those days are definitely over.”

Engel, wearing a white organic denim dress by local design duo Twin Couture, spoke eloquently about the “devastating” effects that fashion can have on the environment and biodiversity before introducing some of the big-money competition’s first-year success stories. A racy reel showed the New York-based Engel rocking sultry catwalk looks by last year’s €25,000 first prize winner, Elsien Gringhuis. OAT shoes, runner-up in last year’s edition of the Dutch government-funded contest, presented its new line of “shoes that bloom”—biodegradable leather high tops that literally sprout a bouquet of wild flowers when composted. Not quite tulips from Amsterdam, but almost.

The competition, one of the capstones of Amsterdam’s growing fashion week, provides winners with strategic advice and a platform at January’s shows. (Enrollment is open until September 30, 2011; for more information, visit But you don’t have to be a budding brand to go green, as Lonneke advised—you don’t even have to suffer. Her choice for an eco-friendly bag? Chanel. “I’m not a saint, but I try to make responsible choices wherever I can,” the model, who dispenses sustainable-living tips on her Web site, Organice Your Life, said. “That might mean choosing a classic Chanel bag rather than ten disposable ones that have been produced under questionable circumstances. It can be as simple as raiding your grandmother’s closet rather than going shopping.”

Photo: Courtesy of Amsterdam International Fashion Week

The Word From Amsterdam:
“Not Everything Has To Be Wearable”


Holland may have taken a blow in a certain soccer tournament of late, but there was no talk of runners-up at the gala opening of Amsterdam International Fashion Week, which kicked off Wednesday night with two radically different visions from Dutch design houses, albeit united by a shared aquatic sensibility.

First down the runway was a wearable, nautical-influenced collection from sister-sister duo Spijkers en Spijkers, whose Breton-striped shifts and Delft-hued, galleon-print maxi dresses struck a chord—not least with Amsterdam’s front-row boat owners.

Arguably less suitable for canal-side weekending were the uncompromising creations of Iris van Herpen, whose collection featured plasticized droplets cascading off garments and the sort of leather ribcage lattices that could spell tan-line disaster (pictured). Van Herpen’s headline appearance in Amsterdam represents something of a coup for organizers; having trained under the late Alexander McQueen, the Dutch designer is used to showing at London fashion week. But she treated her hometown to a ten-look preview demonstrating, as she told, that “not everything has to be wearable.”

Jean-Paul Paula, the fashion director of Amsterdam’s online MycroMag (and occasional walker in van Herpen’s womenswear shows), was glad to see the return of challenging fashion. For him, this collection signified a welcome return to a time when, as he put it, “Amsterdam was for renegades, much less conservative than what it has become lately. I know people are all too eager to make the comparison, but, like McQueen, Iris really does create her own universe.”

Photo: Michael Zoeter