Editor: Marlo Saalmink Images: Team Peter Stigter
As the menswear season reached its climax after a long summer, with Berlin and the New York trade shows still on the program, it was refreshing to hop over to Amsterdam, for a well needed dose of fresh Dutch talent. The specially curated LICHTING show, is a yearly returning phenomenon, where the cream of the Dutch design schools, select two graduates each, to present their work as part of Amsterdam Fashion Week. Movingly so, the entire national fashion press gathered to witness what design marvels were on offer. New talent, often comes with a sense of creativity, at times carefully fostered over wearability and functionality. Nonetheless, when presenting their collections to the panel, it became clear, that each of the 14 individual designers have a different sense of what lies next or on how to explain their visions.
As mentioned, LICHTING is filled with intriguing contrasts. The shows opener Klára Válková from the Gerrit Rietveld academy, hailing from Prague, played with volumes, clipped garments and fresh colours. Her statement, was to challenge women back home, to step outside of their shadows, allowing them to shine profoundly. After her, Milou van Esch, from the Maastricht academy, debuted with a crisp collection of long dresses and multi paneled tunics, effortlessly wearable and functional. Her translation of Olafur Eliasson his studies of light spectrums, was well executed.
The turn to menswear was easily made. The eventual winner of LICHTING and absolute highlight during the panel presentations, was the workmanship provided by Swedish-Dutch graduate Bastian Visch of the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Bastian did extensive fabric research, working from a scientific approach, to unify and define aesthetics. Here this was provided in garments mimicking sunlight in a most photogenic and relevant manner. Exciting, also was Utrecht graduate Dennis Bareiro, who worked from memories from his childhood, to capture an understated and well tailored collection. His men comfortably marched down the runway. A contrasting, but also outstanding collection was delivered by Gino Anthonisse, also from The Hague, who worked from the premises, that mankind, is loosing its sense of wonder. Something he captured perfectly in his eclectic and expressive menswear pieces.
Womenswear standouts of the show were Lisi Herreburgh and Lotte Van Dijk, both from AMFI, Amsterdam. Lisi showed expressive and voluminous silhouettes, heavily layered and with interesting textures, ranging from poplins, to latex to tech fabrics. Whereas, Lotte, told a story of instinct and how our identities are often shaped by others. Her silhouettes consisted of contrasting fabrics, textural interplay and sculptural shapes, without loosing a sense of wearability.
LICHTING thoroughly shows loving support for new graduates, giving them a strong platform to showcase their individual work. It is a pleasure to observe this, as it remains a huge future challenge to connect talents to our ever revolving fashion industry, one that remains forever in turmoil.