Move over politics and diplomacy. It is fashion time in The Hague.
Political concerns, Greek crisis and the fate of the euro seemed far away as on the night of November 4th the city’s fashion finest got together to celebrate the start of The Hague fashion month at the epicentre of it all – Magazin de la mode, in the historic glass-roofed Passage.
The public in attendance swapped the usual formal and “proper” Hague attire for glamorous outfits befitting the occasion, some bordering on the outrageously colourful, or shockingly short, or sweepingly long. The male audience was less adventurous spotting black ties and tuxedoes accessorised by a smattering of facial hair in all shapes and forms. Facial hair for men is a persistent trend, I notice.
The Hague fashion city? Absolutely yes, according to Henk Kool ,The Hague Deputy Mayor and Alderman for Economic Affairs. With the rapid growth of primary retail space, innovative concepts, and the number of fashion designers and other creatives establishing themselves in the city “The Hague is becoming “hot” faring well in the face of competition from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht”.
Madelief Hohé, fashion curator of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, emphasizes that The Hague has rightfully earned its fashion stripes as it is this city that housed the first Museum of Costume in the Netherlands in the early 1950, which has now become a part of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
In the dazzling light of flashbulbs accompanied by generous serving of bubbly wine the fashionable and less so guests mixed and mingled in the Magazin, or should I say dans le Magazin? marvelling at the display of the best the Dutch fashion has to offer.
So let’s take a closer look
The sparse white interior of the store is an excellent backdrop to turn the spotlight on the collections, for most part of subdued colours and linear silhouettes.
Bas Koosters stands out with his screaming colours and psychedelic prints.
Avelon by Erik Frenken is a minimalist ode to black. Ideal for a rock chick.
Sis by Spijkers en Spijkers. Basic pieces like long ribbed-knit cardigans with run through zips would certainly work in The Hague context.
A interesting debut by the Sophie#1234567+label . The idea behind the label concept is an evolving seven piece collection of separates that provide the basis for a perfectly cohesive wardrobe.
There are also pieces by Youasme Mesasyou, an emerging knitwear brand of easy separates with quite an innovative approach to funding and market positioning.
Whereas Magazin de la Mode in Passage No40 is the temporary flagship store for Dutch fashion in The Hague during November, there is much more to explore. Window displays in Maison de Bonneterie and De Bijekorf, exhibition in the creative department store Hoop in de Grote Markt. Exhibition Fashion loves Art in the Gemeentemuseum. And created for the occasion Parcours de la Mode.
The Hague fashion city is undoubtedly a great initiative and commendable ambition. What remains to be seen is how this initiative translates into business reality. Once the Magazin de la mode is gone where do we go to buy Dutch fashion? Perhaps it is time that the city start thinking about a permanent retail space dedicated to Dutch fashion?