Last night I went to see the catwalkshow by Elise Kim at AFW. When everyone was seated, the models came up in Elise Kim’s latest creations. And I honestly must say: I loved everything from her A/W ’13/14 collection. She started off with showing designs in black and cobalt blue. From different materials, lots of leather, combined with softer, lighter fabrics, like chiffon satin, silk jersey and satin organza. Many dresses and skirts, very feminime. The black pieces flowed over in some orange/ red designs and then, when the music build to a climax, went back to the blue / black and red / black designs. The whole collection consists of 29 different looks. Keywords to this collection: feminine, leather, black, blue.
Afterwards, lovely PR-lady Jil from Ganbaroo waited for me at the beginning of the catwalk, to accompany me to Elise Kim. She told me to go to a room behind the catwalk and wait there for a minute, which I did. Of course I made the mistake by thinking I had the time to use the toilet there quickly. So when I returned, she’d already been there, looking for me. But didn’t find me and went away. So an akward fifteen minutes went by in which I wandered around, like a lost little kitten, didn’t know exactly where to look.
Such a relief when I found her, hidden in some sort of V.I.P. room with red lights. There I met Elise Kim and finally got the chance to speak to her about her latest collection, which is part of a trilogy actually. Her previous collections were inspired by sleeping, dreaming and now this one was supposed to be… a nightmare! “A beautiful nightmare!” Elise ensured me with a big smile on her face. Her hair cut in a perfect bob, while wearing one of her own designs. A black leather skirt, combined with a peplum top in the same fabric. “I only design what I like, If I wouldn’t want to wear it myself, I wouldn’t make it.” “I don’t fit in all the designs. But this I could wear” she giggles a bit. It’s hard for me to believe she wouldn’t fit in everything with her slender posture. “I loooove dresses. I think that’s my signature.”
“At first,” she tells me, “I began with the black pieces, but then I thought: this is too dark. I need to add some colour.” And so she came up with orange/ red designs. I ask her if we can find any influences from her very international background (she was born in Vietnam, later studied in Canada, Italia, London, before settling in Amsterdam, Holland) in her latest collection. She ponders “maybe the handicraft. That’s Asian. But no, not specifically.” She used different kinds of techniques such as laser, beading and embroidery on the gazelle skin leather. Does she get inspiration out of music? “I like to listen to serene, melodic music. Mostly by unknown artists, while I’m designing.”
It’s getting more crowded in the V.I.P room while we are talking, so it’s time to end our conversation. I ask her what she’s planning on next. “Sleeping!!!” she shouts out with, again, a big smile. “And maybe google a bit, to see what people think of the collection.” Not afraid of negative reviews? “No, not at all. As long as it’s constructive criticism. It’s not fun either when you only get positive reactions, right?” Everything about her sparkling personality tells me this lady loves what she is doing. “I’m now doing this for over two years. I didn’t plan it, it just happened. I get to meet so many nice people, do amazing things. That’s just wonderful.”