To kick off Amsterdam Fashion Week, our very first show would be Saskia ter Welle, a new name added to the 2017 program through MBFWA’s Fashion LAB initiative.
Not knowing much more about Saskia ter Welle than the fact that she chose to re-focus on her ambitions after devoting years to the care of her family and that her handmade embroideries would be prevalent in her collection, we rather never spoil the anticipation by researching a designer before their debut show, which often – and definitely in this case- leads to serendipitous outcomes. In retrospect we would confidently say that out of the 14 catwalk shows we saw this MBFW, Saskia ter Welle was definitely the most surprising!
As the somewhat dark intro music filled the transformatorhuis, the first models loomed out of the smoke wearing tailored designs, modernized by the choice of colors and materials and deft use of embroidery. Corroborating with the suspenseful ambient music, we were treated to a collection made for the power woman, featuring subtly draped evening- and cocktail dresses, shoulder-padded pantsuits and a fetching short knitted dress, all beautifully tied together by a strong styling theme which was also the source of inspiration for Saskia; the emergence of aviation in the beginning of the 20th century. Naming her collection ‘Come fly with me’ the styling aesthetic remained very consistent, as the very feminine creations were paired with vintage aviation gear such as leather pilot jackets, vintage flight goggles and chunky boots. All sporting flawlessly styled retro hairstyles, some of the models wore knitted beanies or pilot hats with leather earflaps. Mid-way through the show, a very tough all-woman air force team walked down the runway wearing flight overalls. Our absolute favorites were the orange draped silk cocktail dress and the eye-catching electric blue pantsuit.
Without overwhelming the elegant look of her garments, Saskia uses her embroideries and applique in a very clean way, adding that extra “umph” quite ingeniously. Anyone who considers embroidery to be stuffy or old fashioned will be put to shame by the contemporary, cool approach ‘Come fly with me’ takes. In 2010, Saskia ter Welle studied Broderie d’Art at the famous Ecole Lesage in Paris, which is affiliated with Chanel. During this course she soon realized that this technique, as she fondly calls “a magical touch of glamour” would play a substantial role in her first couture collection. She dreamt of creating couture that captures her fairytale vision, while still producing very wearable looks. In our opinion she definitely has succeeded!