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Lizzy Stuyfzand takes home the 2017 Lichting prize

Sarah Bruylant was picked as audience favourite

On Friday, 14 July, 14 recently graduated fashion designers showed their graduate collections to an audience of national and international fashion professionals in what was a spectacular runway show. Lizzy Stuyfzand (ArtEZ) was crowned the most promising talent in the Netherlands, while Sarah Bruylant (AMFI) went home with the audience prize.

With a packed-out Gashouder as a stage, HTNK owner Mariette Hoitink opened the 11th edition of Lichting. Lichting is an initiative of FashionWeek Netherlands and HTNK, and since its start in 2007, it's grown to be the Dutch fashion award. After a short speech from FashionWeek creative director Iris Ruisch, in which she took a brief moment of silence for the sudden passing of WdKA fashion professor Gerrit Jan Vos, the show was ready to begin.

From porcelain mannequins to hooligans

The 14 fashion graduates came from seven different Dutch fashion academies. The first presentation got underway to the new wave sound of Wall of Voodoo's Ring of Fire. In keeping with the music's darker tone, Rachael Cheong (KABK) showed a collection about hiding our deepest secrets through the eyes of a porcelain mannequin. Her black-masked models showed grandiose, many-layered designs ruched in red-and-white gingham fabric, among other materials. The red-and-white pieces were followed by Teun Seuren (HKU), who's collection, Schwalbe!, delved into the idea of hooliganism. MAFAD graduate Lisa van Wetten hinted at her fascination for light with reflective designs that were strengthened by the fall of her specially draped silhouettes.

Tourists, chandeliers, and humanity in its purest form

Ruby Russel's (ArtEZ) collection took us back in time to the Rebecca Riots of 19th-century Wales with voluminous, layered looks inspired by traditional Welsh dress. Miro Hämäläinen's (Gerrit Rietveld Academie) collection, Venus as a Boy, took a critical look at masculinity and femininity, and it was followed by the 'tourist collection' from Annebel de Kok (WdKA). Esther van Brakel (WdKA) showed the world's first digital clothing line, while Sophie Roumans (HKU) showed her vision of the future with reams of thick, threaded fabric. Roos Boshart (KABK) depicted the de- and reconstruction of iconic garments and Karlijn Krijger (MAFAD) presented designs all based on the same pattern. Ninamounah Langestraat (Gerrit Rietveld Academie) swept the audience away with her ode to humanity in its purest form, set to the tune of Ram Jam's Black Betty. Simone Schampers (AMFI) closed out the show with her theatrical collection of romantic designs, including a pair of true chandelier earrings.v

Sarah Bruylant and Lizzy Stuyfzand

There were two candidates, however, who stood head and shoulders above the rest, in the eyes of both audience and jury. Sarah Bruylant (AMFI) was the audience favourite, with her collection that called to mind a sunny 1950s holiday on the Côte d’Azur. Her oversized hats, cinched waistlines, wide skirts, and bright colour palette gave the viewer a peek into her fashion utopia.

Winnaar van de Lichting 2017-award: Lizzy Stuyfzand

In the end, the international jury panel, which consisted of Zowie Broach (Head of Fashion, Royal College of Art London), Federico Poletti (Sr. Editor, Manintown), Philippe Pourhashemi (freelance fashion writer), and Floor Kolen (fashion designer and 2010 Lichting participant), awarded the 2017 Lichting prize to Lizzy Stuyfzand (ArtEZ). With her collection, Call Me Magpie, she brought together handcrafted techniques and London club kids. The jury praised not only her balance between creativity, cheerfulness, and authenticity, but also her research into textiles and craftsmanship.

Rachael Cheong (KABK). © Team Peter Stigter
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Rachael Cheong (KABK). © Team Peter Stigter
Teun Seuren (HKU) © Team Peter Stigter
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Teun Seuren (HKU) © Team Peter Stigter
Lise van Wetten (MAFAD). © Team Peter Stigter
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Lise van Wetten (MAFAD). © Team Peter Stigter
Ruby Russel (ArtEZ). © Team Peter Stigter
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Ruby Russel (ArtEZ). © Team Peter Stigter
Miro Hämäläinen (Gerrit Rietveld Academie). © Team Peter Stigter
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Miro Hämäläinen (Gerrit Rietveld Academie). © Team Peter Stigter
Annebel de Kok (WdKA). © Team Peter Stigter
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Annebel de Kok (WdKA). © Team Peter Stigter
Esther van Brakel (WdKA). © Team Peter Stigter
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Esther van Brakel (WdKA). © Team Peter Stigter
Sophie Roumans (HKU). © Team Peter Stigter
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Sophie Roumans (HKU). © Team Peter Stigter
Roos Boshart (KABK). © Team Peter Stigter
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Roos Boshart (KABK). © Team Peter Stigter
Karlijn Krijger (MAFAD). © Team Peter Stigter
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Karlijn Krijger (MAFAD). © Team Peter Stigter
Ninamounah Langestraat (Gerrit Rietveld Academie). © Team Peter Stigter
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Ninamounah Langestraat (Gerrit Rietveld Academie). © Team Peter Stigter
Sarah Bruylant (AMFI). © Team Peter Stigter
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Sarah Bruylant (AMFI). © Team Peter Stigter
© Team Peter Stigter
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© Team Peter Stigter
© Team Peter Stigter
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© Team Peter Stigter
© Team Peter Stigter. © Team Peter Stigter
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© Team Peter Stigter. © Team Peter Stigter
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