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Michael van der Ham Womenswear S/S12

A perfectly balanced mix of colour panelling and contrasting textures gave a sophisticated sense of refinement to a collection that celebrates modern femininity

This season the collection from Michael van der Ham felt like a full graduation into a more educated and knowing way of looking at things, with his designs retaining that mix and match, contrasting and collage mood but with a grown up and more sophisticated finish. The balance had been got absolutely perfect between the colours, textures, layers and lengths of his garments. Pleated silk blouses and skirts opened the show, in light and natural colours on a clean white base, contrasting sharp against darker patches and black prints. Pinks, blues and brighter yellows all made up the main palette of the pieces.

Two tone high waisted slimline trousers, cropped just above the ankle, solidified the contrasting story, as did body contoured tops featuring opposite colour panelling and silk scarf like pieces applied to soft greys and whites. Cropped sleeve dresses were emblazoned with patchwork details and metallic woven knits added a refinement to the feeling. Adding a different take entirely, navy sheer chiffon was layered over tops and skirts in the form of long tailored blouses, giving a more serious and modern femininity.

Dazed Digital: What were you inspired by?
Michael van der Ham: I'm always into that collage look and I wanted to do that aesthetic but in the design of the textiles themselves. I used back work, jacquard, different fabrics, embossing, textures and then all the different prints to achieve something that felt quite separate but at the same tine was held together. It's sort of like a collage within a collage. Rather than a collage its more about layering.

DD: Where did you get the ideas for the prints from?
Michael van der Ham: Kind of from the way used to do the collages, by putting things together and finding a way that it all fits. Its a balance between everything. I was using English graphics and then some of my own paint work, I actually made a whole load but some I then didn't use because there were so many.

DD: Was here a flow through the show for you?
Michael van der Ham: At the beginning really you are seeing everything together, the combination of all of the ideas in the collection and then as you go throughout the show it becomes simpler and you see them just as they are.