Paris Couture Week Day I: Ronald Van Der Kemp

“I’ll find inspiration in eccentric women like Loulou de la Falaise and all those clients of the 70’s and 80’s who used to attend the very intimate couture shows. It was this intimacy that I wanted to recreate today for my first couture show.” And, so he did. For his first Paris haute couture showing, Ronald Van Der Kemp– a Dutch fashion designer-  found the most perfect location at Vincent Darré’s Maison Darré showroom (note: Vincent Darré is the haute interior designer) in the First Arrondissement. At a beautiful, epitome of a chic French apartment, the designer brought back the golden age era of fashion. Since his haute couture collection includes hand-painted details, the designer utterly fell in love with Vincent’s space that has hand-painted effect on some of the walls. It was a perfect match!

Today’s show had a salon vibe. It hosted about 100 people that had the opportunity to witness the love and the passion Ronald Van Der Kemp has for the craftsmanship of what he makes- and for fashion in general. The theme of the show was eccentric as much as the designer himself- a mix of ‘Japanese punk ‘and ‘country florals’, as he calls it. “The show is about eccentric ladies with their own look. That’s what couture is about to me, and what fashion is about, too.”, the designer stated yesterday. Aside from Loulou de la Falaise, there are many more strong female personalities that have specifically served as an inspiration for the collection: Nan Kempner, Judy Peabody, and Paloma Picasso. 

Although it’s couture week and we all expect the finest of the finest, this collection is only partially comprised of couture pieces. The designer focused more on demi-couture pieces, which are limited edition. For those blissfully unaware of the ever-changing terms in fashion, demi-couture translates as “half-couture” and is more classified under “ready-to-wear” in the fashion industry. That’s why Van Der Kemp calls it a wardrobe. “It’s the mix that makes it interesting. The mentality is very much couture, though. A while back we did an army cargo pant that was made in an almost couture-like way, and it sold out everywhere.”

As seen in his previous collections, the designer stayed loyal to his vision of different textures, shapes and prints. The unavoidable ruffles appeared at the very beginning of the show in the form of ruffled floral-print mini skirt paired with satin green bow shirt. They emerged again in forms of dotted black and blue dress, show-stopping purple dress with a deep V-cut and gold detailing, olive green sheer shirt with a plunging neckline and many, many more. The color palette included everything from nude shades, light and dark blue, bright red and yellow, rich pink and futuristic silver. If there is a designer that can pull a mix of washed out denim, luxurious fabrics, fake fur and lace details, that is certainly Van Der Kemp. Après le défilé, the designer appeared in a basic look- the essential gray hoodie that noted ‘I love Paris’. After such an amazing show, I am sure Paris loves you back.

Photo Credit: Fashion Network