|Amsterdam Fashion Week Recap: Innovations in Sustainable Practices|
|Written by Priscilla Camargo - Saturday, 09 February 2013|
Amsterdam Fashion Week A/W 13/14 was marked by its great efforts in broadening the visibility of local designers worldwide and raising serious questions about the future of fashion. While the shows presented advances in design aesthetics in the approach of distinct techniques and abstract thinking, deeper conversations on the use of fur, investments in quality crafts in opposition to marketing capitalization, and other major issues, enunciating old x new paradigms, were taking place at the Firestarters and Sustainable Stories talking sessions.
The uptown program was rich and varied with shows featuring everything from applications of technology in fashion to the preservation of handcraft techniques. Another focus was on historical innovation - after 13 years of activism and campaigning, the charity organization Fur For Animal (FFA) welcomed good news from the Dutch parliament last December 18th about banning the breeding of mink for fur in The Netherlands. This action triggered a completely new era in the Dutch fashion scene towards more ethical and conscious practices. Bruno Pieters from Honesty By has spoke about these changes during the Sustainable Stories sessions.
The presence of sustainable brands during the shows was significant. Studio Jux once more rocked the runway with a delightful collection resembling feminine and masculine shapes delineated by strong and bright autumn colors. Layers of knitted heavy pieces combined with garments made out of very flexible materials such as satin and hemp converged in a harmonic and very contemporary collection showcased in a stunning show, avidly acclaimed by the audience.
Fred Farrow and Brit Avalon Tan presented a beautiful and striking collection, with a vibrant mix of colors, blend of textures and a twist of spontaneous playful compositions. The designers continuous influences laid on the joyful amusement of flexible color pallets combined with a love of pronounced lines. Abstract expressionists such as Brice Marden and Soulages, inspired this hand woven and naturally dyed array.
The show of Edwin Oudshoorn, by the other hand, was characterized by a sophisticated storytelling range assembled using soft materials and feminine silhouettes. Being a master in art crafting Edwin once more brought a collection rich in embellishments expressing a delicate glamour. However, despite the garments exquisiteness and the undeniable talent of the designer, it was really painful to see 3 of the 21 sets using mink and fox fur. The designer afterward brought some justifications for his “unjustifiable” and actually unnecessary choice in a warm discussion during the Firestarters session - an interactive talk together with the designer Cleo Greidanus and the ethical fashion specialist and advocate Marieke Eyskoot. He agreed with the statement that the designers are the responsible for all the choices regarding materials, but he felt the use of fur was essential to tell the collection's story.
Finally, Marga Weimans closed the 18th edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week with her Body Archive collection. In a crossover between several disciplines, Weimans shared her authentic view on fashion through 3D architectural constructions such as Plexiglass cubes that showed up among the clothing sets. The collection's essence was DNA as the elementary component and final synthesis, with an allusion on the scientific and technological understanding of these fundamentals into a conceptual visualization of fashion. According to the designer, “Like the first generation of heavily built computers and mobile phones transformed through innovation to streamlined gadgets, fashion too will develop to an innovative extension of the body.” In this way, the designer gathered the influences of our deepest relations with technological, artistic, and architectural surroundings, promoting a very unique design statement, while, even without explicit intention, speculating on the role of designers and creatives in general in an epoch of fast innovations in science, art and technology.
Priscilla Camargo is a scientist, conscious entrepreneur and blogger who is completely passionate about technology, arts and sustainability. Through her writing she shares her experiences on sustainable development and heritage both in fashion and design, always expressing her love of aesthetics created from the mix of different cultures and her commitment to social and environmental issues. You can find more about her work at her social media channels: Twitter, Facebook and Blog.
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