Addy van den Krommenacker was born in Uden, the Netherlands, in 1950. He remembers being interested in fashion from his early days. He spent hours of his youth at the kitchen table, drawing princesses wearing wonderful ballgowns. He started his career in retailing, working at a boutique, first in sales and then as a buyer.
As a young adult, he was no stranger to the Dutch social scene and had a wide circle of friends. The women came to him for fashion advice, and he eventually became both an official and unofficial stylist to many. From there it was a small step to designing, and in 2001 he began a collection of his own.
Krommenacker began designing both eveningwear and daywear for Princess Irene and Princess Mabel of the Netherlands, and eventually also for Princess Margriet. Margriet had a higher profile, and her patronage brought him more fame. Word spread and his creations became so popular within the royal family Queen Beatrix made him a Knight of Orange-Nassau.
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The Dutch royals tend to reach for their Krommenacker gowns for the really big events. His creations are distinct, but they share a lot of details. He likes embellishment, and you will find lace, crystals, and sequins used frequently. Princess Margriet wore a silk brocade and tulle-brode lace dress with pearls, sequins, and Swarovski crystals for the 2019 Peter Stuyvesant Ball in New York City.
Prinses Margriet en Prof Mr @PietervVol op 38e editie van Peter Stuyvesantbal in New York, thema 100 jaar @KLM. De Prinses droeg diamanten Melleriodiadeem uit 1888 en jurk van zijdebrokaat en tule-brodékant met parels, pailletten en swarovski van… Addy van den @Krommenacker! pic.twitter.com/zL67989wZD
— Rick Evers (@RickEversRoyal) November 23, 2019
The princess wore this dress with a lace bodice and peach skirt – with a train! – for a gala event.
Inauguration of King Willem-Alexander
A good contingent of the many Orange-Nassau princesses, Irene, Margarita, Annette, and Aimée, wore dresses from Krommenacker for the April 2013 event. Irene wore flowing layers, while her daughter, Margarita, wore a deeply saturated pink gown. Princess Annette went with a bold pattern and a fishtail hem, while Princess Aimee wore a chiffon maternity gown with a decorated bodice (see comments for photo).
Wedding of Princess Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parma
The pinnacle of van de Krommenacker’s royal career was the wedding gown designed for Princess Irene’s daughter, Maria Carolina of Bourbon-Parma. The designer incorporated restored heirloom Bruges lace into the gown. Princess Irene had worn the lace in her Balmain-designed wedding gown, and it was said to be a gift from Queen Juliana. The wedding was in June, in Italy, and the dress was entirely location and season-appropriate, with short sleeves and an open sweetheart neckline. The lace bodice opened over the slim skirt and became the train. The simple yet captivating design has been a perennial favorite with royal watchers ever since.
Krommenacker also designed Princess Irene’s dress for her daughter’s wedding day. The lace sheath was worn under a satin coat with a stand-up collar. The bride’s sister Margarita also wore a Krommenacker design.
Unfortunately, the designer closed his business due to bankruptcy in 2019. The enterprise is currently going through a slow restructuring. It’s a tough industry, and he has been missed by both the royals and the celebrities he dressed. Let’s take a parting look at some of his lovely legacy.