In recent years, Dutch fashion designers have been extremely successful both at home and abroad. Now the fashion world is hailing a new generation of creative young designers who have recently graduated from the academies. Most of them were born in the 1970s and mix their work as easily with music as with fine art: couture is no longer a magic word. This spring, the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag shows a cross-section of the widely varying work of the Netherlands’ newest designers.
The exhibition will include: work by And Beyond (Brigitte Hendrix and Jolanda van den Broek), influenced by Surrealism and Krumping; futuristic shoe designs by Marloes ten Bhömer, who is now based in London; fairytale clothing by Hamid Ed-Dakhissi, winner of the Robijn Fashion Award in 2002; items by Aico Dinkla, who made his name with his own silicone coating technique; designs by Erik Frenken, currently working for Viktor & Rolf after graduating cum laude from academies in The Hague and London, and winner of the English Lancôme Awards in 2003 and of It’s#three, Trieste, Italy, in 2002. The Gemeentemuseum has recently bought seven pieces by him; G N (Gerrit Uittenbogaard and Natasja Martens), well-known for their graphic look and the way their designs play with lines and planes; Mada van Gaans, who draws her inspiration from myths, sagas, comic strips and animals and likes to build her playful collections around a story and characters. Finalist in the Robijn Fashion Award contest in 2001 and in It’s#three in 2004; Monique van Heist, who sells her tomboyish women’s clothing under her own-name label in Rotterdam. In 1998 she was a finalist in the Robijn Fashion Award and in 2002 at the French Festival des Arts de la Mode in Hyères; sensual, festive dresses with flowing lines by Percy Irausquin, one of the few ‘couturiers’ of his generation; the unisex collection of Joff, with psychedelic black-and-white prints; multitalented Bas Kosters, as well-known for his version of the Bugaboo baby-stroller as for his jewellery, bags and dolls and music, for whom recycling is a key focus. In 2003 he won the Robijn Fashion Award; the graphic collection of sculptor and designer Mariana Lazarevic; Spijkers & Spijkers, who show their collections during the London Fashion Week, and whose designs are sold in more than twelve different countries; Jan Taminiau, who uses his love of old techniques and antique materials in his quest for the ideal form: elegant attire with a conceptual undertone; strong, sexy men’s clothing by Jeroen van Tuyl, who gives traditional forms a new look, and whose work is distributed from Paris; impeccably made and meticulously detailed male apparel from Francisco van Benthum’s Wolf label and streetwise ‘Ghetto couture’ designs by Daryl van Wouw, inspired mainly by street fashions, sport and music. There will also be work by various novice designers, like Edwin Oudshoorn, winner of the Frans Molenaar Prize 2005, Claes Iversen, third-year student at The Hague’s own Royal Academy of Art and winner of the BLVD prize 2005, and the three Dutch finalists in the Lancôme Colour Designs Awards 2006: Elke Lutgerink, Dan Gonen and Mattijs van Bergen. Exhibition design is in the hands of Maarten Spruyt, stylist / art director for designers of the calibre of Marlies Dekkers and Bernard Willhelm.