The only Ronald I was ever familiar with is a scary smiling one who made every burger I saw a nightmare, except on Sundays* with an empty fridge. Therefore I had no choice but to find food at his place. The correlation between the aforementioned Ronald and the fashion designer going by the same first name is scarcily existent, if not that my curiousity for the latter arose because of the former.
Now that you know my brain makes weird associations let’s talk about fashion. I came to know Ronald van der Kemp in the April issue of Vogue Paris. Even before I started reading the article one word stood out: demi-couture. Obviously it stood out. I didn’t know its meaning. So let’s break this concept down by telling first what is Haute Couture. Custom-made clothes entirely made by hand – in the most expensive fabrics – by the most skilled ateliers de couture. If nowadays everyone is familiar with high fashion through social media and high street brands like H&M who made the phenomenon go global with its collaborations; Haute Couture is not. It’s exclusive as in if you’re filthy rich you’re in, if you’re not, you’re excluded, out. To make it short, if you
don’t eat for six months spare for a couple of months you can get this Mansur Gavriel bag, on the other hand go try sparing for this Valentino Haute Couture dress and then let’s talk after that*.
So what’s all the fuss about demi-couture? Well, let me tell you WHY – as an ex fashion product editor – I would spend the equivalent of three rents on this skirt, this dress and these pants. As a fashion product editor, I used to “experience” luxury everyday. My hands and eyes could tell me if a creation was great or not. That’s why as I am writing, I wish a trail of RVDK clothes would appear right before my eyes. RDVK mixes Haute Couture savoir-faire by working with the best craftsmen in Amsterdam while proposing clothes you can build a wardrobe with, with a high fashion price tag. Also, it does make you feel exclusive because each piece is produced once you’ve placed an order like in a Haute Couture house. Amazing isn’t it? But still, I am most fascinated by the fact that the collections are all made out of vintage fabrics and remaining pieces of fur and leather from the best Italian ateliers. If some designers work months on textiles to obtain the effects they want from them, I can’t imagine how it is to work with fabrics that have decades of life behind them. So far, I have never heard about a luxury brand using such methods. Hence my wish to sneak in Ronald van der Kemp atelier to see how he manages to turn fabrics with stories into something new.
To prove my point, I’m leaving you with my RDVK Top 3
*FYI, the perks of being a Londoner is that, unlike in Munich (my previous home), those Sundays with no food or toilet paper are now finished. Read thank you for opening grocery stores on Sundays until 11pm!
*I’m not even talking about the fact that before starting sparing for it, you won’t have ANY event or occasion to show it off
Collage by me. Pictures via vogue.com