Cheap and cheerful clothing is mainly produced by Dutch ready-to-wear clothing concerns such as C&A, WE and MeXX. Other well-known brands include Turnover, Cora Kemperman, children’s wear manufacturers Oilily and the jeans brands Kuyichi and G-star. But a number of top designers are the real trendsetters of the Dutch fashion world. Viktor & Rolf, the first and up to now only Dutch design duo to have achieved international success, are joined by Alexander van Slobbe, with his own brand Orson & Bodil. Van Slobbe uses traditional skills in his minimalistic designs and collaborates with Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum for ceramic jewellery and buttons, and fabric designer Claudy Jongstra, among others. Jongstra is known for her felt designs that are made using wool from her own flock of sheep and which appeared in the Star Wars films. Jan Jansen is, as a Dutch Ferragamo, the most famous shoe designer in the Netherlands, with an enormous body of work containing innovative and influential designs. Lingerie designer Marlies Dekkers has been responsible for a revolution in modern underwear and her strappy style is often worn as outerwear. Hans Appenzeller is the most well-known Dutch jewellery designer, who brings us right back to simplicity of style. Appenzeller’s typically Dutch Embarrassment of Riches (Simon Schama) is expressed in silver, with occasionally a single small diamond – from Amsterdam of course! – as decoration.
In particular, the younger princesses in the Dutch royal family support Dutch fashion by including Dutch designs in their wardrobe. Princess Mabel’s wedding dress was designed by Viktor & Rolf, as are many of her clothes, and recently Princess Máxima appeared wearing a design by Jan Taminiau – in the best Dutch extreme tradition: made from a mail sack.
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