You can't consider Michael van der Ham without considering Rodarte. The Los Angeles-based sisters' influence on the Netherlands-born designer is undeniable when you look at his Spring 2011 collection, shown today at the Topshop space in Waterloo Station.
But van der Ham does something with his clothes that the Rodarte sisters have difficulty pulling off: Despite the mismatched prints and odd seam placement, his collection always looks clean, polished and pretty. I was particularly fond of the summer velvet Pollini shoes he used in the show, as well as the very unique colored crystals he incorporated into his looks. (As a Swarovski sponsored designer, van der Ham had access to the company's vast crystal archive. However, not all of his peers utilize this privilege in such an impressive way.)
LONDON--Michael van der Ham started his show by spilling a Skittles bag of candy-colored crushed velvet dresses onto his A/W '11 catwalk. All were asymmetric, with one dolman or bell-shaped arm and the other sleeveless or short. Flirty with opaque black tights and heels, they easily could have gone home on the backs of any number of editors in the front rows.
From these confections, Van Der Ham transitioned to velvet tops and wide silk trousers in the same hue. All featured velvet panels or baby frills on the waistbands (texture blocking alert!).
More exciting Nordstrom news! Even more exciting if you live in a city that doesn't have a Topshop. The department store has just announced plans to install Topshop departments in 14 of its locations in the U.S. Each one will get a 2,500-square-foot Topshop women’s and 1,500-square-foot Topman.