Dutch Designers at the London Fashion Week

Our colleagues at the Dutch Embassy were invited to last Saturday's show of the new Spijkers & Spijkers Spring Summer 2012 collection at Il Bottacio in London. The dangerous elegance of the roaring twenties decade infused every aspect of Dutch duo Spijkers en Spijkers' summer collection. An intermittent presence at LFW over the last decade, twins Truus and Riet have carved out a distinctively graphic aesthetic, defined by a blend of gracefully sensual shapes and boldly linear detailing: and today that graphic rigour purred its' way across slinky cocktail dresses and louche trouser suits, in evocative Wallis Simpson shades of coral, mint and violet. As it turned out, the twins' inspiration was a very different dangerous woman - Scheherezade, the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights, who (just like Mrs. Simpson) seduced a king against all odds with her mermerising, never-ending fairytales. So the rhythmic geometric shapes - so quintessentially Jazz Age in their architectural clarity - were in fact derived from the stylized patterns of Persian tradition. It made for an interesting blend of iconic visual languages, playing up the Eastern influences (loose pyjama suits, flowing Crepe-de-Chine, bound headscarves) which were so crucial to the demolition of female dresscodes. But the mannish Hepburn tweeds, flapper fringing and delicately wrought chain-mail harnesses ultimately reinforced the fundamentally modernist nature of Spijkers en Spijkers approach -and the enduring resonance of that dissonantly vibrant decade.