Aziz Bekkaoui treated the Dutch audience to a dynamic fashion parade during the opening night of the Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week. On the beat of among other Fight the Power, both man and woman marched the catwalk all wearing powerful outfits, black military boots and lace stockings. Black was also the main colour of the collection, completed with bits of cream white, beige, gold, grey and army green. The collection, named Images Rule, is Bekkaoui’s tribute to the various sense of fashion in metropolis like Berlin, New York, Singapore, Casablanca, Tokyo, Istanbul and Amsterdam. For the designer the diversity of silhouettes, shapes and textiles can co-exist and complete each other or melt together to a new hybrid image.
And what a melting pot it was with lots of lace, leather, heavy wools, tweeds, satin, nylon, checks, bead embroidery, and the use of both traditional and innovative craft techniques. A floor sweeping, lace skirt combined with a military jacket, a nylon flight jacket with a ruffled collar or a pinstriped djellaba … Bekkaoui likes to play with contrasting – both raw and refined - fabrics and hybrids of styles.
A rendezvous of past and future, avant-garde and tradition, folk and uniform, street and catwalk.
Aziz Bekkaoui is a Moroccan born, Amsterdam based fashion designer that follows his own, untraditional path through the world of art and fashion since his career started in 1996. The year he graduated from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem and won the first prize of the prestigious Hyères Festival International de Mode in France. Between 1999 and 2004 the designer presented his collections twice a year during Paris Fashion Week, but decided after 5 years that the catwalk was too traditional for his vision on fashion. Aziz can best be described as a multidisciplinary artist, working together internationally with different museums, theatre companies and architects. One of the highlights of his career is his collaboration with Marina Abramovic, for whom he designed among others the blue dress she was wearing during her performance in 2005 in the Guggenheim Museum.
Aziz Bekkaoui has his own store in Amsterdam and designs two collections a year, but last night’s F/W 2014/2015 presentation was Bekkaoui’s first after a catwalk absence for 10 years. Although the collection was maybe not the most fashion forward in terms of design, Aziz Bekkaoui showed us a clear and authentic signature and a strong performance for which he received a well deserved standing ovation.
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