From the 1st until the 4th of September, Amsterdam Fashion Week took place in our capital – the first edition of the Dutch fashion week since the beginning of the global pandemic. This new world brought a new fashion week; in addition to traditional fashion shows, brands held intimate presentations, in the form of installations and performances, that immersed the audience in their universe in an innovative way. Which made clear; the world is no longer the same, and so is fashion.
New world – new fashion week
Amsterdam Fashion Week 2021 was given the opportunity to show what the fashion world can look like during and post-pandemic. No overcrowded halls with traditional fashion shows, but experimental performances and installations that depicted collections in a new way and provided unique experiences.
"Above all, it became clear that a new fashion world is making its appearance; one that should be primarily focused on inclusion and representation"
Dutch bag and shoe brand Wandler opened fashion week on Wednesday evening in an innovative and unprecedented way. The internationally celebrated brand ensured that the entire Amsterdam and international fashion crowd travelled to Amsterdam-Noord to attend a spectacular light and sound show at a former gas station, produced in collaboration with the Dutch artist Nikki Hock. Without Light There Is No Colour was the message of the presentation, where an entire collection was presented in Wandler's signature and now iconic apple green colour from its debuting collection.
Dutch fashion icon Ronald van der Kemp showed his RVDK collection through a performance by, Dutch National Ballet dancer and Syrian refugee Ahmad Joudeh, who moved through the exhibition. The Amsterdam Label Ninamounah also combined exhibition with a live perfomance in De Bijenkorf, via a 'living' doll. The Amsterdam design collective REconstruct Collective captivated the audience with a performance with roller skating models and vogue dancers, and Dutch label Jenneskens symbolized the future of the sharing economy with its innovative and largely sustainable collection VOL.1: LOST PROPERTY.
From minimalism to glamour
Fashion houses such as the Flemish Natan and the Dutch brand Humanoid showed their new collection in the form of shows at original and spacious locations such as a raw industrial space in the heart of Amsterdam and the park of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo. At the last location, the public was surprised with the collection that Humanoid made in honor of their 40th anniversary. An ode to craftsmanship in a collection that showed the true essence of clothing; materials that feel like a second skin.
Dutch-Armenian designer Wannes Akop held an intimate show in Hotel de L'Europe in which fashion became a tool to celebrate the life we have missed so much. His glamorous collection called Nour – largely made from deadstock beads from Armenia and remnants from Italian studios – was an antidote to the days of basic sweatshirts and jogging suits, and a paragon of inclusivity through the mixed model selection.
New fashion: connecting and inclusive
Above all, with this fashion week it became clear that a new fashion world is making its appearance; one that should be primarily based on inclusion and representation. Duran Lantink showed his Democracy collection in an intimate show in the Hermitage. The collection that denounced democracy in the fashion world, was created in collaboration with Bea Otte of Theater Lebelle and talents from Museum van de Geest and Outside Art. With his show, Lantink connected the insiders and outsiders of the fashion world.
Dutch and Burkinese fashion talent Bodil Ouédraogo closed fashion week with an intimate dance performance in collaboration with celebrated Amsterdam label Patta, titled To Blend, Together. The designers showed the essential elements of fashion, which many brands still ignore; connection and inclusivity. A reflection of the new fashion generation, a generation which we all need, one that no longer relies on exclusivity and escapism, but rather invites and welcomes everyone, who wants to be part of their community, with open arms.
Written by Lara Oliveri.