Amsterdam Fashion Week celebrated its annual summer festival in July. Held twice annually, Amsterdam Fashion Week provides a sneak peek of spring/summer fashions, Kreol reviews the July 2015 Amsterdam Fashion Week.

Fashion is one of the defining aspects of any culture, and each year the world is treated to a variety of new fashion lines. At fashion shows around the globe, models and designers show off some of the latest designs. The annual Amsterdam Fashion Week took place in July 2015, celebrating 11 years as a place for designers to connect, grow, and celebrate.

Amsterdam

Makeup artists are busy at work backstage

Origin of Amsterdam Fashion Week

The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam, co-owned by Bart Maussen & Hans van der Linden, was first held in 2004. It combines commercial labels and brands with those from upcoming talents and designers. Each year, the programme consists of a broad and diverse offering of fashion lines from designers across Netherlands and from around the globe. Amsterdam Fashion Week actually occurs twice annually, with a July show to promote Summer/Spring lines and a January showcase for Fall/Winter clothing.

2015 Summer Amsterdam Fashion Week

The summer edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week in 2015 had a broad approach, with the event open to any guests who purchase individual show entrance passes. The focus of the event this summer was less on performances, and more on opening up the form to allow attendees to get in touch with the designers behind their favourite labels. Aziz Bekkaoui and Jonathan Christopher were among the big headliners for the event.

Shocking Reveals

Spijkers & Spijkers is a design duo well-known in Netherlands and across Europe, and offered a surprising deviation from their standard designs. The fashion house unveiled an 80s-inpsired collection that was old school, and featured loose-fitting suits, blouses, and skirts. Other designs included partially transparent, yet glamorous, dresses. The latest offering from Tony Cohen showed off a style outside his usual zone, providing cool and confident looks that utilized a wide variety of materials, fabrics, and prints to create unusual and unique results.

Young Designers Get Attention

While established brands were allowed to show off all-new collections, there was plenty of attention to go around for young designers as well. With the support of the LAB program, numerous young designers were able to show off new line-ups that exhibited amazing foresight, innovation, quality, and originality compared to the designs offered by many of the established brands.

Fashion LAB

Fashion Week Nederland, of which Amsterdam Fashion Week is a fixture, makes it a mission to support an innovative environment that encourages the development of young fashion designers. The Vodafone Firsts Fashion LAB is an on-going programme that provides catwalk shows, workshops, lectures, and presentations that encourage innovation among fashion entrepreneurs, and offers support from established designers.

Avelon

Avelon is a Dutch brand that used Amsterdam Fashion Week to not only premiere a brand new collection, but also celebrate its 5th anniversary. The inspiration behind the design of many of its pieces was the nomadic lifestyle that dominated the European continent for centuries. Centerpieces of the collection included oversize blankets, clunky knits, and graphic prints.

Aziz Bekkaoui

Aziz Bekkaoui unveiled one of the more unique collections with the “United Hearts Now” line. The though-provoking collection attempted to meld fashion with positive political statements. The new line-up featured prints, embroideries, and heart-shaped necklaces that evoked a sense of love, acceptance, and tolerance. The entire collection featured wool, cashmere, and silk in a variety of colours such as bright green and cobalt, as well as red and pink.

Highlight of the Show

One of the most memorable moments of the show was the fashion line-up showed off from Bas Kosters. The crowd seemed thoroughly entertained by this over-the-top catwalk show promoting the “Permanent State of Confusion” line-up. The collection featured performance costumes, embellished doll pieces, and odd accessories that included a customized stroller and a trolley. Kosters’ lineup featured bold colours, mix-and-match prints, and a variety of embroidery, patchwork, and impertinent slogans. Unlike any other line-up, Bas Kosters’ line featured materials reused from previous collections, old artwork, and even some of Kosters’ personal wardrobe.

Caribbean Fashion Spot

Last but not least, Caribbean Fashion Spot is an online forum promoting Caribbean fashion designs in Europe, and helped organise the participation of mid- and high-end Caribbean designers at Amsterdam Fashion Week. Among the designers with pieces at Amsterdam Fashion Week this year were Bea Rodriguez (Puerto Rico), Charu Lochan Dass (Trinidad & Tobago, and featured in this issue of Kreol), Gigliola Designs (Aruba), and Heather Jones International (Trinidad & Tobago). Additionally, there were performances from DJ Djamila Celina and the dance group LuXury Latin.

2015 Amsterdam Fashion Week

This was the 22nd Amsterdam Fashion Week, and the event covered 11 days of catwalk, backstage collaborations, workshops, and opportunities for the public to mingle with designers. The 11-day fashion extravaganza started on 4th July 2015 and wrapped up with a major catwalk show on 14th July 2015. As with previous editions, the world was treated to a number of surprises and stunning fashion lines from established brands, as well as breath-taking innovations from upcoming young designers.