Friday, 24 January 2014

Mattijs Autumn/Winter 2014

Very fittingly, in the year that it celebrated its tenth anniversary and twentieth season, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam selected designer Mattijs van Bergen to open its Autumn/Winter 2014 edition. The winner of the 2012 Dutch Fashion Award with his eponymous label Mattijs, van Bergen has proved, on numerous occasions and in many international showcases, to be one of the most promising fashion talents currently working in the Netherlands.

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner

In a collection developed as a collaboration with Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, Mattijs incorporated some of the most renowned paintings by the Dutch Post-Impressionist master in the form of vibrant prints displayed on flowing long dresses and skirts. However, and to stress the notion that painting (like fashion) is a three-dimensional fabrication process, the most successful looks in the collection featured complex hand-painted detailing. Such approach also explored the concept of layering textures by combining fabrics of different colours and with diagonal, vertical and horizontal lines, and by investigating the possibilities of asymmetric cuts in a methodical way that resembled how Van Gogh created the illusion of distance in his landscapes.

In spite of the conceptual imperatives forced by the collaboration, this was a collection that revealed Mattijs at his best: painstakingly pleated skirts alternated with richly creased fabrics that, through their seemingly haphazard juxtapositions, subtly suggested proficient sartorial details and tailoring. This apparent nonchalant process was evident, for example, in skirts with almost unnoticeable luxurious linings, delicately crafted waist lines, pencil skirts whose ultra-feminine cut was hidden by oversized knitwear, and slouched overcoats where unstructured shoulder lines and voluminous sleeves were carefully applied to create the illusion of a relaxed femininity that simultaneously evoked the formality of 1950s silhouettes.

Ultimately, in the manifold ways it carefully conjoined the colours and textures conventionally used to depict natural landscapes and the female body, this collection was yet another passionate love letter to womanhood that confirms why Mattijs van Bergen’s creative talent deserves a closer examination and respect on the global fashion arena.

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner

With thanks to Bloggernet for arranging the stay in Amsterdam and accreditation necessary for the production of this article. Unless otherwise stated, photographs are © Team Peter Stigter, courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam.

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