Spring 2018 Couture Ronald van der Kemp....Fashionweekly...On Fow24news.com - FOW 24 NEWS

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Spring 2018 Couture Ronald van der Kemp....Fashionweekly...On Fow24news.com

 You can praise the Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp for many reasons. There’s his fiercely independent attitude, his commitment to never playing by the rules of the game, and his absolute insistence that fashion should be fun and fabulous.....
(Okay, Fun and Fabulous, let’s capitalize here, because that’s how much he believes in them.) Yet his latest collection, which merrily mixed silver chain mail, black leather, de/reconstructed denim, archival couture silks, cork (yep, cork), and gold lamé together, reveals yet one more reason. Much of it was made with the aid of Syrian and African refugees, women and men who’d fled to the Netherlands to escape their impossible, fraught lives. Van der Kemp utilized their embroidery skills to conjure up some of his upbeat, quirky, and playful confections, finding these artisans after reaching out to a Dutch volunteer organization called Refugee Company.
 Of course, the subtext to this admirable exercise—not to mention the raison d’être of his label—is respect: for the materials he uses, for the women he dresses, and for the idea that we really don’t need to be consuming nearly as much as we do. (As before, some of these pieces will be more widely available; some will be produced in tiny, tiny runs of only a few.) Given that refugees are just as much of a political red button in Europe as they are in America, his stance—doing what he can to help them feel welcomed and integrated into their new homeland—is typical of his take on things; if you’re going to talk about making life different and better, then just get on with it and do it.

Not that you really need to know any of this to enjoy his clothes, but it certainly adds substance to his spirited sense of style. There was no singular aesthetic impulse here as such, but everything sprung from the same inspiration—what Van der Kemp calls “rebellious girls. I’d been looking at images from the 1970s of women protesting against the Vietnam War. We need the strength of women now. And I’m against people covering themselves with Instagram filters. Show yourself. You’re in charge.”

His way of facilitating that is to present myriad options as to how you might want to look and feel. Van der Kemp’s world is a place where a supersize, beautifully constructed Perfecto jacket worn with intricately patched jeans rubs big shoulders against a very Emanuel Ungaro floral silk drape-front cocktail dress; where a perfect ivory tuxedo shirt tops distressed, frayed off-white jeans; and then, a breath later, we’re in Dallas—the city and the TV show—with a Lynn Wyatt–esque columnar evening dress and major coiffed hair. In other words, it was more of his heady cocktail of ’40s shoulders and draping, ’70s sexiness, and ’80s flourishes; potent enough, in fact, that if you own one, you’ll be on the dance floor in no time.




Spring 2018 Couture Ronald van der Kemp....Fashionweekly...On Fow24news.com Reviewed by FOW 24 News on May 07, 2018 Rating: 5  You can praise the Dutch designer Ronald van der Kemp for many reasons. There’s his fiercely independent attitude, his commitment to neve...

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