Developed alongside the main schedule of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Amsterdam, Vodafone Firsts Fashion LAB is an initiative that defines itself as “a laboratory for talent and innovation consisting of catwalk shows and a range of workshops, lectures and presentations that support young designers.” Despite the good intentions of the initiative, if the budding creative labels sponsored by Fashion LAB showed variable levels of creative potential and technical proficiency, David Laport undoubtedly stood out as the strongest of the cohort that unveiled their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections in late January 2014.
In a small but perfectly edited womenswear range, Laport (a graduate from the Dutch Royal Academy of Art) explored how highly structured shapes and conventional feminine tropes can be used to engender successful praise of high fashion. If his looks started with tailored pants and fitted tops as a way to illustrate how the rigidity of slim cuts serves to highlight the natural curves and lines of the body, they evolved to include laboriously structured pleating and bulbous shapes that exploded from the waist or the chest in different directions to create innovative (and yet very feminine) silhouettes. Nevertheless, and amidst his broken and asymmetric geometries, Laport imbued the collection with dotted floral embroideries that anchored femininity to conventional thinking while subtly questioning the role of embellishment.
Added to a diverse colour palette that comprised neutral blacks and whites contrasted with vivid oranges, yellows and shades of green, this was a capsule collection that, in its curated apparent simplicity, revealed that David Laport is a young designer that the fashion industry should watch for.