Double Dutch Sies Marjan takes Inspiration from fellow Dutchman
Against an urban skyscape more than 50 stories high, Sies Marjan presented a collection celebrating the countryside. Perhaps the contradiction was deliberate or maybe the company just yielded to the push of expediency – the place was available, affordable and convenient?
The juxtaposition was interesting.
Creative Director Sander Lak was inspired by a years-long exploration and exhibition opening this month at New York’s Guggenheim Museum by renowned Dutch architect and Harvard professor Rem Koolhaas. Lak himself is from Holland and shares Koolhaas’s interest in rural life, he said. His company is a sponsor of the exhibit called Countryside: The Future and he spent several months working with Koolhaas and source material produced by the architect and his team.
Koolhaas is well-known in fashion circles for his long association with Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli designing several of the Prada stores and set designs for their shows.
Lak’s interaction is seemingly of a different nature. The collection he sent down the runway was an ode to the countryside and yet another paen to his talent. “Everything was natural. It came from nature,” he explained after the show.
He utilized plant-based dyes. Coats were crafted from plant roots and grass pressed into fabric. Another fabric developed resembled a toile and was used in a fluted dress.
He chose a loose, silhouette. “We were looking at farmers,” Lak said. There were oversize sweaters and pieces that looked like take-offs from fisherman’s overalls. Dramatic capes were draped over models’ shoulders. Given the theme, they brought to mind country blankets.
Recycled plastics or vinyl took on a lustrous shimmer in liquid dresses and shiny toppers that resembled leather, which Lak admitted is the most “unnatural” of fabrics but which represented elements of transporting goods from one point to another in the countryside or rural to city.
Several looks were anchored by clogs which, Lak said after the show, were an homage to his childhood in Holland.
With both Lak and Koolhaus hailing from Holland, there were several Dutch references in this collection. However, Lak said this evolved over time. “Rem is really an international architect. I don’t see him necessarily as Dutch. I am Dutch. I don’t see myself as Dutch,” he said.
Ayesha Curry, attending her first New York fashion week, lingered after the show, declaring the clothes “beautiful” as she called out specific looks she had her eye on. The actor and wife of NBA champion Stephan Curry, meant business. Dressed in one of Lak’s colorfully printed long looks- she was accompanied by her friend a retailer who owns the California boutique, where Curry buys the collection.