Michael Van Der Ham Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 London

It was a darker season for Michael van der Ham who took vintage couture as a starting point for a collection that felt more high-end and polished than ever before. There was a new confidence, a sleight of hand in his cut-and-paste approach to mixing fabrics and patterns, bringing out maximum drama from his otherwise muted autumnal palette of deep auburn, green and navy. The skin-tight tailored brocade trousers grounded flowy tops while the jacquard pencil skirts worn over longer sheer chiffon layers had the somberly romantic feel of loveworn couture that is yet beautifully preserved.

Van der Ham’s signature patchwork effect was rendered in a fusion of beading and print, shimmer and sheer, which worked particularly well in eveningwear, where sheer materials and embroidery blended so delicately, they gave off a sumptuous, boudoir feel. It was just the randomly placed cut-outs mimicking burn-out, moth-eaten holes on t-shirts worn over contrasting patterns that didn’t quite chime in, creating rather jarring visual collages. Still, his closing looks provided the necessary climax with a regality and modernity that signaled a new, more glamorous than ever stage of the van der Ham girl. We can’t wait to see her again in September.

- Maria Dimitrova

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