It is an absolute fact of life that Central Saint Martins is a smouldering hot bed of creative talent. Each and every year they produce bright, young things that go on to set the world on fire; Michael van der Ham is no exception. The 26 year old from Giessenberg, Netherlands graduated in 2009 from Central Saint Martins, London with an MA in womenswear. Van der Ham managed to acquire invaluable internships at Sophia Kokosalaki, ThreeAsFour and Alexander McQueen. Upon graduating, he did various small shows and a design project organised by ITS#EIGHT, that won him the ITS#EIGHT vertice award in recognition of new design talent; he continued to pick up accolades such as, L’Oréal Creative Award, Barbara Dohman Bursary Award and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture Scholarship. He was certainly no shrinking violet and prior to his first solo show there was a positive buzz around him, fashion editors acting as soothsayers over his prodigious talent and calling him the “patchwork pro”.
He unveiled his seminal first solo show at the grandiose old Waterloo platform, London Fashion Week’s largest venue for the Spring Summer 2011 catwalk shows, and the collection wasn’t dwarfed at all by the equally epic venue, it was simply beautiful. An awesome amalgamation of prints, silk, embroidered fabrics, devore print, sheer and poplin fabrics bursting at the seams with eye popping delicious colour. The collection earned him the prestigious British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN award and brought him to the attention of the fashion powers that be, making him the name on everyone’s lips as searing hot property. Van der Ham continues to go from strength to strength with each collection and his Fall/Winter 2011 collection (see images below) shows a talent beyond his years. The collection is a complete juxtaposition of luxe embroidery’s, prints, fabrics referencing the eras of the twenties, fifties and sixties in terms of aesthetic and construcion. His ability to create something that can only be described as heritage meets nouveau riche meets humble opulent debonaire decadence, is impressive. It seems to me that A Michael Van Der Ham woman is one who isn’t afraid to make a statement and wear something bold, chic yet fearless. He claims to be inspired by “referencing different eras and making each dress like a 3D collage of clashing colours, textures, weights of fabric and cut”. It seems this designer’s future is as bright and as rich his fabrics. Michael van der Ham is now stocked at Browns Focus and LuisaViaRoma.
Images via londonfashionweek.co.uk and style.com