Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Rebecca Ward Autumn/Winter 2014 Womenswear

For her third participation as part of the official schedule of Amsterdam Fashion Week that unveiled creations for the Autumn/Winter 2014 season, budding designer Rebecca Ward presented ‘The Magic Theatre’, a collection that claimed inspiration from Herman Hesse’s 1927 novel Steppenwolf. If the conceptual intent behind Ward’s womenswear range was the exploration of unit and dissolution as experienced by Hesse’s lead character, the end result evidenced dualities that, in the plain juxtaposition of contrasting fabrics and shapes, remained unconvincing and limited regarding the creative sartorial potential that they might have offered.

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner



Although the elegant silhouettes (that were decidedly influenced by those espoused by mid-nineteenth-century European fashion designers) and the printed satins and laser-cut soft leathers proved to be very seductive, the emphasis on long, ruffled skirts and dresses were disappointing insofar as they failed to address the complex conceptual focus chosen to anchor the collection and the psychoanalytical intricacies and gender implications explored by Herman Hesse that would have undoubtedly enriched the collection. 

Knowing that Rebecca Ward (a graduate from New Zealand’s Massey University who also studied at London’s Central Saint Martins and at the Fashion Institute ArtEZ in the Netherlands) has shown more accomplished examples of her creativity and technique in past collections, one can only hope that ‘The Magic Theatre’ was a failed experiment on the road to greatness, and that better and bigger things are to be expected for many years to come from this young talent.

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner










Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner

Photograph © João Paulo Nunes / The Style Examiner



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

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