For his first runway show on the official couture calendar, Ronald van der Kemp segued seamlessly from demi to full couture, choosing the intimate salon setting of Maison Darré, designer Vincent Darré’s Parisian apartment showroom.
But that’s where couture conventions stop. For his Wardrobe No. 6, the Dutch designer continued to paint the portrait of an eccentric woman who is equally at ease in a dramatic pleated bronze gown with stiff, jutting ruffles as she is in a cozy floor-length sweater dress.
Daywear and evening shapes both exuded an “if you dare” vibe. Silver trousers looked like coveralls with the sleeves knotted in lieu of a belt, and they clashed dangerously with a shirt in hazard-tape yellow and black stripes. A pair of striped jeans, crafted from denim in different washes, felt on an equal footing with a floor-length cascade of chiffon ruffles in a micro-floral print.
The energy in van der Kemp’s work comes from his mix of references — the mood here swung between exuberant Seventies and upscale Nineties rave — and his apt hand at cutting desirable shapes. Even his most classic propositions — a tailored tuxedo suit with frayed fuchsia piping or a ruffled blouse with wide-legged trousers — felt luxurious and vibrant.