Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam aims to refocus on young talent. The last years, the event got a lot of criticism of becoming ‘too commercial.’ January 2016, 40 percent of the shows where hosted by graduates. Now, a year later, creative director Iris Ruisch says the percentage of young talent within the program is Young talent on MBFWA.
The opening night is dedicated to talent with a young and innovative vision on fashion. The programme, called Future Generation, contained shows of Martan, Das Leben am Haverkamp and a collective presentation of nine designers at The Painting. The opening night was themed ‘imagine’. Where designers question how the catwalk, which still has a lot of value for designers, can convey emotion.
A few young designers who previously showed in the Transformatorhuis now get a bigger stage at the Gashouder. Anbasja Blanken, Alexandra Frida and Tess Zalinge host bigger shows this year. They are three of the few designers that make it from the small Transformatorhuis to its big brother the Gashouder.
Honestly, it’s amazing that MBFWA gives young designers the chance to show their creations and start their career with a bang. But it seems that the catwalk in Amsterdam is only assigned to the youngest generation, fresh from school, showing their first collection. Might this be a non-intended parallel with fast fashion? Are only the freshest of the fresh interesting enough?
Interesting to see is that well known, but not less innovative designers choose not to show their collections this MBFWA. Like Monique Collignon, who presented her newest sustainable collection in her own showroom, a week before FashionWeek started. She skipped the runway for a more personal event without the craziness of a show. Monique said she still loves the catwalk, but struggled with the speed of the process. After the show is done and the audience has left, the momentum for spreading her vision on future fashion is gone too fast.
So, is the catwalk becoming as fast as fast fashion? Is it losing its magic of being the first to show a designer’s vision? The question is whether the catwalk in Amsterdam is still a relevant medium for designers that show for the second or third time. Maison the Faux for example, has found its home at NYFW this year. The mechanism works two ways. It’s not only the creative directory of MBFWA that chooses who shows and who doesn’t. In the end designers are the ones who decide the relevance of the catwalk, maybe unintentionally steering MBFWA onto a course of showing only the newest of the new and freshest of the fresh.
- Doris de JagerFuture Architect
With help of
- Talisa OngChief Editor
- Leonore PelkmansFuture Architect
- Désiree LaureijssenCoordinator
- Nathalie de KorverCommunication
All photos by Trendpit