The darker side of Michael van der Ham: AW 2013 at LFW
There seems to be a trend for designers 'growing up' this season. Felder Felder ditched (most of) the printed skater dresses in favour of heavy texture and killer coats. Matthew Williamson waved a fond farewell to printed chiffon, and Mary Katrantzou took her signature prints in a far more sophisticated, mature route with a restricted use of colour and shape. This growth and conceptual refinement was also strongly evident at Michael van der Ham's show, which took his usual patchwork of brights down a deeper and darker path for Autumn / Winter 2013.
Gone were the pastels and the haphazard layering, in favour of earthy shades, deep inky blues, dark burnt red and silver-grey. Van der Ham has always been interested in patchwork, collaged fabrics and layering, but this season it was done in a more reserved way, less GCSE art, more deconstructed chic. Specially developed textiles were designed to create a 'destroyed' look, as if they were vintage clothes ready to fall apart.
Though he usually chooses separates and layered dresses that look like separates, this time Van der Ham showed full-length evening gowns at the end of the show, in shades of black and white with textured sections, sheer panels and white applique. A mid-length number with 3/4 length sleeves and blue accents, an embellished high neck and lurex embroidery was also a stand-out piece.
Here's our video of the show finale, for a closer look at those lovely closing gowns...