Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Marga Weimans at Fashion Week

Marga Weimans show, AIFW 2012 © Eva Bremer
Last week the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW) was in town. Centred around the Westergas area, tout fashionable Amsterdam got in their heels and finest outfits to see what's new in Dutch fahion land. I went to see the opening show of Marga Weimans who was showing for the first time on AIFW. 

Weimans is known for her architectural shapes and experimental use of materials (you may have seen her work before during the exhibition 'Material World' in the Groninger Museum in 2011). After a mysterious countdown large sculpture-like dresses covered with printed fabrics entered the runway and made an impressive statement. The clothes were great, but I don't really want to talk about that. I was really impressed with the photographic elements during the show. Because photography was everywhere. Not only at the usual places such as the red carpet in the entrance, photographers trying to capture 'bn'ers' front row or the mountain of photographers at the end of the catwalk.

Marga Weimans show, AIFW 2012 © Eva Bremer

Where photography really surprised me was in Weimans overall setting. The whole background of the runway was a black and white image showing industrial shapes with graphic effects. This set the tone for the rest of the show. Because also on the fabric of the clothes the images returned. And you could even take them home as an original goodiebag; a box filled with A4 photographs that matched the look and feel of the collection. Graphic, abstract, geometrical, black&white and architectural. The images strong and complementary to the clothing. Nice detail is that Weimand photographed all the images herself, mainly in her hometown Rotterdam.

Marga Weimans show, AIFW 2012 © Eva Bremer
With this integration of her photographs, in a way Weiman shares her inspiration with the audience. You can almost literally see the geometrical shapes recur in the garments. Not only in the print on the fabric, but also in the constructions that shape the clothes underneath. The models also carry, drag and roll installations with them that emphasize the industrial features. By making her inspiration clear in different layers (background, constructions, print and shape) the collection feels accessible and transparent. As a viewer you feel like you  understand the creative process Weiman went through and it opens her collection to her public. This is striking whereas the clothes are quite experimental and not exactly what you call prêt à porter. Weiman creates her own setting in a complete way. A constructed reality for her public that involves them in her work. I thought it was engaging to become this involved in a designers work. I am always intrigued by inspiration, whether it is from a fashion designer, photographer or any kind of artist. When inspiration, concept and result come together and make a complete story like this, in return I find this very inspirational. And when it is nice to look at, or in this case take home and maybe wear, even better.

Eva Bremer

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