London Fashion Week: Michael van der Ham
Michael van der Ham cited artist Joan Miro and photographer Malick Sidibe as his inspirations this season, but for most people at the Topshop show space, the first person that came to mind when the models hit the catwalk was Lewis Carroll's Alice. Poker straight hair was held back with wide white Alice bands, and the prettily coloured collection had a definitely 'wonderland' feel.
As far as the designer's signatures go, there were plenty of familiar looks and this collection didn't move from the familiar, it just refined it.The much-loved collage prints were everywhere, but the exact print choices were more experimental, with fewer paint splashes and more texture, some scratchy stripes, devore, jaquard and leather.
There were also plenty of the layered skirts and sheer blouses we've grown to love. But by using slightly softer fabrics than usual, the overall feel of the show was lighter and more elegant than we've seen in previous seasons, which made it feel more cohesive. When a designer is so devoted to collages of prints and texture, it can be tricky to keep it tight and ensure the whole show flows, but this season van der Ham managed that.
In terms of Spring / Summer's emerging trends, lots of them were on show here. There was blue, there was sparkle, there were more separates and fewer dresses. Lace was used in interesting ways, as inserts and layers, and we saw flashes of the fun texture that so many London designers love.