Monday, October 3, 2016


Dorhout Mees: putting together unlikely hues for an "electric" look.

In the middle of Paris Fashion Week, the news suddenly switched from the designs to the robbery at gunpoint of American celebrity Kim Kardashian.

But as sad and shocking as the theft of million-dollar jewelry might be, another newsworthy event was the scintillating collection that Dutch designer Dorhout Mees presented that same night, Oct. 2.

Bold, inspiring and supremely daring, her Spring/Summer 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection mixed unlikely colours and combinations for a show that was modern yet full of mystery.

Dorhout Mees: when lightning strikes.
Titled Orphic, the designs were inspired by the “striking of lightning in nature, but also the fascination of what happens when lightning strikes a person, who survives”, said stylist Esther Louise Dorhout Mees, who founded the brand in 2010.

The show began with a film portraying images of trees, streams, waterfalls – while the models emerged as dark silhouettes. As they stood in front of the movie screen, facing the audience, flashes of simulated lightning struck their bodies, illuminating the clothing. Then they strode down the runway, on chunky heels or leather sneakers, followed by the light.

The hues used for the designs evoked electricity, which was entirely Mees’ aim. Her palette included silver, sheer white, teal, roseate and ruby; she paired pale green trousers with off-the-shoulder pink tops, for instance, and the models' pastel-coloured sneakers had scarlet laces, attracting the eyes as if to a dancer's feet.

According to the show’s notes, a “sliver of silver lying on the body as a shiny metallic second skin, showing each joint,” was the result of electricity being put through the material “to make it react in these rainbow-like patches”.

Dorhout Mees: ruby and transparency.
But stronger colours such as scarlet and burgundy also featured in playful gowns and cocktail dresses, as well as in shorts and flowing trousers that incorporated transparent material for a striking look.

"The combination of something that is so beautiful to behold and at the same time so dangerous was so interesting to me, the fragility of a material or our own body in that way for me was such an interesting thought … that it created my whole collection,” said the designer.

Mees received loud cheers from the thrilled audience, as the show ended with the models grouped together for a silent moment in the twilight, and she later celebrated backstage with her bevy of enthusiastic assistants. - De Clercq / McKenzie (Tasshon)

Dorhout Mees: mixing it up.
Designer Dorhout Mees: emerging from the trees.