Ronald van der Kemp Spring 2021 Couture
Entertainment

Ronald van der Kemp Spring 2021 Couture

“Has the world gone mad?” The Dutch couturier Ronald van der Kemp was Zooming in from Amsterdam on the morning after anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police at a curfew demonstration there. “Everybody is spinning out of control,” he noted.

Not coincidentally, van der Kemp’s new-season video channels some of that mad energy. He returned to the De L’Europe hotel, where he staged a masked fashion happening in the early days of the pandemic last April. Only this time around, instead of models flying flags from the windows, the action happened behind closed doors. If he was fighting off inertia back then, nine months later, van der Kemp has settled into the feeling that we’re surrounded by the surreal.

Making do with what’s at hand was a new approach for many designers last year. Van der Kemp built his brand on the concept, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t impacted by the lockdowns. With fewer recyclables coming in, his challenge was making do with even less, though that hardly looks like it was a hardship for him. The exuberance and inventiveness that has defined his past work are apparent here in dresses pieced together from three distinct fabrics so they look different depending on the angle; and it’s also obvious in the opening look’s ball skirt, which was patchworked from scraps of many sizes and shapes, including little rectangles made to look like pieces of tape affixing one material to another.

Van der Kemp calls his process “ethical Dada,” a description that has taken on new meaning since he started overpainting and collaging found canvases—see look 10. He says he’s in talks with an Amsterdam gallery to show his new artwork. He’s also making one-off pillows from textiles he’s collected for clients who are spending less on their wardrobes and more on their homes.

Adaptability is essential in this moment, but van der Kemp isn’t the kind of designer who’s pivoting to homey loungewear. Quite the opposite. Working with a company that makes felt out of post-recycling leftovers, he created a molded corset completely without seams and darts, and paired it with paint-splattered, ripped jeans dripping in handwoven chains. “Even from the lowest of the low, we can make something cool and interesting,” he said. Let’s just say it’s not the kind of outfit a girl wants to keep behind closed doors.

Read More

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *