World of Style

In the search for the freshest in ready-to-wear, fashion has gone global. New designers are sprouting up, and the style-obsessed are taking notice, looking beyond their nearest fashion capital to curate truly international wardrobes. In the full promotion of fashion without borders, SOMA presents three of the most promising international designers.


Sofie D’Hoore

From Belgium to the Globe

Ease of wear and well-designed fashion are not always married, but slip into one of Belgian fashion designer Sofie D’Hoore’s garments and you will start expecting more from your fashion. A charming simplicity is present in D’ Hoore’s roomy A-line dress, wrapped tightly with a bright orange coat—cheery for even the most dreary day.

For her Fall/Winter ‘12/‘13 collection, D’Hoore places renewed emphasis upon the look as the epitome of effortless dressing. Her choice of fabrics – most notably double-faced cashmere, heavyweight, satin-finish cotton, and wool crepe – are used to create the perfect staple item: the everyday dress. Whether A-line or box pleat, these dresses are aimed for movement and comfort without sacrificing style. The dresses find their ideal complement in reversible bright versus somber boleros, against longer caramel coats in soft lambskin. The yin and yang between the lambskin and silk offer a perfect masculine-feminine tension to the collection. Finished with oversize faux-tortoiseshell press-studs sewn on like buttons, these garments elevate the very natural quality of animalskin to a luxurious new level.

Her unique use of raw silk shantung adds both volume and an artisan feel. The silk is decorated with an exclusive print, reminiscent of reflections, or tiny flashes of light in a darkened city. If the print sounds as if it was inspired by a European tableau, that’s because it is: an artist in Bologna designed it exclusively for D’Hoore.

The use of brilliant fabrics is an ode to her intensive fashion training. She studied textile engineering in Ghent and fashion design at the famous Modeacademie in Antwerp, resulting in a detailed understanding of how fabrics lie on the body and how to utilize color in structural design. This knowledge makes all the difference when constructing minimal, comfortable clothing that is effortless and chic.

Her latest collection is timeless and ageless with echoes of ‘60s couture, while offering pieces that will become staples in many women’s wardrobes. Sofie D’Hoore has created a collection that is both highly distinctive but open to a woman’s own personal interpretation – there’s that yin and yang again.




Louise Amstrup

Denmark’s Finest

As London Fashion Week serves up the usual suspects, a new fashion star puts her latest collection to the ultimate test. Rising to the occasion, Denmark’s fashion designer Louise Amstrup delivers a jaw-dropping contemporary collection for A/W ‘12/‘13. Delving into the frivolous and free-spirited sides of a woman, using a palette of stunning rich browns, vibrant honey yellows, moody black taffeta and landscape photo print fabrics paired with perfectly cut ankle trousers, knee-length ‘50s style skirts, she gently hints at retro while carrying a modern twist throughout her line. The result is modern femininity at its very best.

After studying in Germany at Akadamie Mode und Design, graduating in 2003 and being awarded the Graduate Talent prize, Amstrup headed to London and began her career working under some of fashion’s greatest designers – Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders and Alistair Carr.

In just three years the call to create her own line became too great to ignore. Amstrup launched her self-titled debut collection in 2006. The premise of her line was to create clothing for today’s women—contemporary, directional and modern. Her exquisitely constructed garments are carried at hip retail stores around the globe, including Opening Ceremony, NYC; Very Boutique, St Petersburg; UOOFO, Beijing; and online at Even though Amstrup has garnerd world-wide attention, earning a seat on the higher-end of the market, she has never forgotten her Danish roots. She received the Nordic Design Award Ginen, as well as a nomination for New Design Talent by DANSK Awards in May 2009.

The Louise Amstrup collection uses delicate silks and soft chiffons mixed with exclusive wools, leather and cottons to create beautifully executed clothes which demonstrate Amstrup’s ultimate goal: “To create a powerful, feminine collection with a soul to suit the female shape.” Amstrup continues, “I believe that my clothes rest in their own creative personality and radiate a natural soul—a piece of
my imagination.”



Mathieu Mirano

The One to Watch

Fashion designer Mathieu Mirano, recent graduate of Parson’s School of Design, is a rare breed. For one, he was actually born here in New York City – He’s not a transplant like most of us. Second, his barnstorming debut collection made such an impact that editors, writers, and bloggers have pegged him as “the designer to watch.”

Mirano’s brilliant design work to date utilizes couture construction techniques with a cutting edge: He fearlessly mixes delicate silk chiffons and crisp organzas with raw exposed zippers, claw studs, and metallic dragonheads. He teams this with subtle and elaborate embroideries to give the final sucker punch of originality and charm. His brilliant cuts and creative use of color create a playful couture infused with humor and wit, but by no means lacks the seriousness and quality we expect from aspiring couturiers. When asked about his design philosophy, Mirano responds, “I truly feel that fashion and design is an art. I see myself as an artist and strive for a polished, refined look with a worldly aesthetic. My work is meant for a confident woman that can appreciate the craftsmanship and artistry the garments carry.” His luminous strength in designing show-stopping, red-carpet dresses is matched by his clever skirt-suit tailoring. His most memorable creation from the Fall collection was his double-weave, red satin-faced silk gazar gown with hand-embroidered, side seam golden “star.” When asked about his upcoming Spring collection, Mirano explains, “My new collection is rooted in intellect as I gathered much of my inspiration from the Museum of Natural History. My father and I spent almost every weekend there when I was a child, so needless to say, it holds a very special place in my heart.”

Having spent much time studying fine arts and classical piano, Mirano takes inspiration from composers such as Camille Saint-Saëns and Philip Glass. His work also draws from extensive journeys in Paris, Marseille, Geneva, Milan, London, Cairo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Calcutta. It’s no wonder you can’t place a style label on Miriano.

Mirano’s new collection utilizes couture techniques and is likely to attract considerable attention. He states, “I really wanted to bring the inspiration to life by turning this woman into a creature. We invented new techniques for our embroideries and there is everything from raised stones to burning. Just like the color palette, it starts very clean and minimal and turns into something wild.”

Clearly, he’s carving out his own path as the one to watch—and many of us will be rooting for him. No pressure, Mr. Mirano.


Text by Debra Winter