A ‘patchwork master’ – Michael van der Ham and his SS15 collection.
I ‘met’ him a few years ago. I had no idea who he is and what he does. He was showing his collection at Topshop Space in old terminal building in Waterloo. I remember explosion of colours and various fabrics combined together in a very interesting way. Interesting enough to make me decided to follow his journey from that day. I used to call him ‘patchwork master’ because of the way he was mixing textures, fabrics and colours. Shapes were usually quite simple, working as a backgrounds on which he was painting his creative visions. A lot of drapery, unusual textile combination, surprising colour match – that was what was immediately coming to me mind when I thought: Michael van der Ham. He never made it to the group of my favourite designers (well, it’s very difficult to get there) but I was always holding high appreciation for his work and consistency of his collections.
I was looking forward to see his SS15 collection and… I was surprised. Although his signature mix’ n’ match of fabrics and colours was still present, Michael van der Ham decided to go a step further (or maybe a step away) from what he did in the previous seasons. His dresses seemed to be less deconstructed than usual, lines were much softer and everything seemed to looked more romantic. Soft and sheer fabrics, layers, toned down colour palette were creating the effect of garments moving in a delicate and dreamy way. The ‘fairy tale’ effect was amplified by a number of embellishments, hand-beading and embroidery.
The new, dreamy looks were presented along with his signature fabric collage dresses, below knee skirts and small tops. It was a very feminine collection – not only because of lack of trousers (present only in one, clean and simple look with white top and statement silver cigarette pants). In his SS15 collection Michael van der Ham seem to say: ‘you can be princess, you can be fairy, you can be whoever you want darling but the most importantly – be the most beautiful self!’
(All photos by Iza Rem)