5 July 2015

A daring debut of a Dutch.

Photo Courtesy of ILJA

Ilja Visser, a Dutch designer who shows her couture collection since 2013, came with her translation of a common denominator of the laws of nature: geometry. Strong shoulders were constructed with skirts of many shapes imaginable, forming as cubes, multihedrons, circulars, and multifaceted diamonds.

Titled Ingenium Existere, meaning engineering of existence, Ilja's interpretation of mathematical simulacrum seemed very mature. A white cement statue was erected on the runway, a figure of a woman wearing a coat and a skirt with imbalance of such length, that was meant to be asymmetric, so oblique that it looked just a half of a skirt. Then it appeared on runway several times, for she kept it as the main point of this collection. A series of stiff materials; jacquard, denim, which was reworked and modernised, strengthened her vision of both toughness and fluidity, that it felt gallant. First exit was quite something, a short-sleeved top with blue accent, and a silver asymmetric dress underneath, and of course, the shoes, that made stilettos sensible. They reminded me of the infamous Dutch wooden clogs, only here was the sophisticated version, and with a tiny towering heel attached. Cargo pants and baggy dungarees never looked that cool. Oversized jackets with staggering shoulders which fit best for super tall people were created like armour. A complicated knitwear sealed with copper cubes,

Going through those 22 looks, it is blatant that she, along with other Dutch couturiers, are focusing on more structural, and rather architectural designs. With a play of pleats, folds, and flatters, Ilja created origamic silhouettes with an edgy approach. Exploration with colours that looked like from a mineral collection; azurite blue, black onyx, and layers of sedimentary rocks, enriched the depth of the stark concept. In spite of a little inconsistency, showing lightweight
materials to create evening wear which looked more like lingeries rather than dresses , this collection was definitely her most solid. And the finale look, a black dress with a shape like a piece of round cut diamond, was just as precious and enchanting as the real black precious stone. And in the age of robotic move of models, Ilja orchestrated a sudden strike a pose for the models at the very last second it stunned so well. What a good start for the couture week.