Dear Shaded Viewers,
Attending the 9th edition of Fashionclash in Maastricht was a treat, mainly because the festival -which blends art installations and unique performances with directional runway shows- provides an exciting platform for upcoming talent and new designers, hailing from all corners of the globe. Entitled “Fashion Makes Sense”, this year’s edition raised interesting questions around the future of fashion and its relevance within contemporary society. What is the place of independent brands within today’s fashion landscape? How can young designers make their mark? How do we deal with the current saturation? And is sustainability the way forward? Workshops and discussions addressed such topics, while the venue allowed press, visitors and designers to mingle freely. Founded by Branko Popovic, Nawie Kuiper and Laurens Hamacher, the event also supports local talent, and Ebby Port made her mark with a first solo show, presenting a beautiful collection at the Jan van Eyck Academie. The Dutch designer’s sensibility is an intriguing mix of Couture elements, exclusive prints and female-friendly shapes, underlining natural curves while allowing room for comfort. The intimate feel of the venue suited Port’s message, who knows about her clients’ needs and busy lifestyles. Using women of different shapes and origins, she underlined the inclusive appeal of her garments, which are elegant and slightly eccentric. Her tailoring felt fresh and playful, such as a sequin-covered jacket fitted at the waist. Her dresses were flattering, sometimes draped at the front or featuring graphic prints. During a post-show talk, the Maastricht-based designer explained how much she enjoys the physicality of printing her pieces in the atelier, evidencing that craft is still relevant for young designers. It’ll be exciting to see where she goes next and how her brand develops in the near future.