Introducing the first selection of 25 Lichting 2022 candidates

After many years of cutting-edge shows and presentations, Lichting became known as Amsterdam Fashion Week’s pride and joy. For the first time in its fifteen-year history however, the talent program featuring the best graduates of all Dutch fashion academies adjusted its usual procedures and invited participants via an open call. Ten of these participants will have to honour to present their final collections during Amsterdam Fashion Week in September. As the Lichting team sat down together to make a selection last week, we introduce you to the 25 graduates that made the first cut!


Candidate: Ana Cristina Codreanu
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Leo in the garden
“The digital collection Leo in the garden is based on the concept of thought induced illness. Through design and 3D animations, it tells the story of a woman who got stuck living in the past. After a traumatic event, she started mentally revisiting her safe place, the garden in which she grew up. She become anchored in her memories until her body became paralysed as well, allowing her to freely live in her imagination.
Thought induced illness is a very prevalent topic in today’s society led by stress. Genes can be down-regulated when exposed to a long-term state of anxiety and stress. Therefore, the mind can influence the state of the body. The detailing on the materials and embroideries references parts of the garden, slowly taking over the wearer. It represents a metaphor for embodying the garden, just the way the woman used to embody her thoughts.” – Ana Cristina Cordreanu

Candidate: Bryan Borghans
Academy: Maastricht Institutes of the Arts | ZUYD
Collection:  EXTASE22
“My world changed from 2015, the moment I walked into Tomorrowland’s ‘Dreamville’. Overwhelmed by and with the other 180,000 ‘chosen ones’ from 75 countries worldwide, young and old travelers to Tomorrowland for that one weekend. The chosen ones come there to make memories, to immerse themselves in what only the deepest of dreams can dream of. The acceptance among them is self-evident. You are one with each other, you are the chosen group. Within my graduation project EXTASE22 I researched an overwhelming feeling of great happiness. Started with a research in the revolution of house music and supplemented by interviews with Joost van Bellen, Rutger Geerling and Michelle Cornelissen based on their experiences and memories. Immerse yourself in my ultimate escape, my overwhelming feeling of great happiness: The feeling of EXTASE22.” – Bryan Borghans

Candidate: Daam Zuurhout
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: They Seek Redemption Reveal Their Façade
“They Seek Redemption Reveal Their Façade is about today’s gender norms, in which framed masculinity is still taught. As a four-year-old boy, this didn’t feel natural. Twenty-three years later it still doesn’t feel natural… I want to resist this classic train of thought and embrace my masculine and feminine identity! In my graduation collection I play with vintage women’s clothing, combined with classically feminine influences.” – Daam Zuurhout

Candidate: Denzel Veerkamp
Academy: Willem de Kooning Academy
Collection: The Rebound Parley
“The collection is a translation of the intersection between my modern, double-heritaged Black identity, the postcolonial configuration I find myself in, and a historical atrocity that has been shrugged off by imperialist European nations. I zoomed in on the geo-historical picture of my existence; my roots within the Diaspora. Inscribing Meaning (Kraemer, 2007) pointed me at the significant impact that the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 has had on the continent of Africa. During this event, the European colonial powers divided the continent by using a ruler to fit their economic interests. It was a shock realising I did not recall learning this, a reminder of how important it is to decolonise our education system. I partnered up with the Leger des Heils, using only post-consumer textiles for the collection, and as a statement I deconstructed them by use of a ruler. I did this to showcase the fatality of dividing something with balances and harmony, when using a ruler.” – Denzel Veerkamp

Candidate: Enzo Aït Kaci De Tandt
Academy: Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Collection: 360° full rotation
“My work can be seen as sitting at the intersection of fashion and graphic design. I research how fashion designers can resist the mass production of online images. The internet represents the first cultural space I have been fascinated with. Since then, this digital sphere, where information and pictures are easily reproduced and copied, has become my main source of inspiration. I see the internet as a cultural space of high-jacking, where new meanings are added to already existing sources. For my graduation, I have explored the value of fashion imagery through this digital prism – taking into account the way the videogame industry, information networks and editing software affect fashion production. Along the way I constructed a new system of designing. With the use of technology and craft, I have produced a visual circuit to develop fabric prints and garments. The garment circulates in an endless cycle and shifts between analogue and digital realities.” – Enzo Aït Kaci De Tandt

 Candidate: Eva Chauvin
Academy: Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Collection: Eva’s dream
“My graduation project represents the wardrobe of my dreams, frozen in time in ceramics, paradoxically inaccessible becoming unwearable. This collection of bags, shoes and clothes has mutated into a surreal porcelain ensemble, condemned to be admired, as simple objects of decoration.” – Eva Chauvin

Candidate: Floor Klaassen
Academy: Maastricht Institutes of the Arts | ZUYD
Collection: PLAYHOOD
“The collection PLAYHOOD questions today’s society and starts a dialogue with the viewer. Do you play enough? As we grow older, the fun blurs and everything becomes more serious. Many see play as something only children do. Adult life brings more responsibilities and it’s hard to let go of the idea that playing is a waste of time in a world where success, work and income are increasingly important. However, playing is an important way to cope with negative experiences and setbacks. It boosts our mental health and connects. Play is universal, everyone can participate, it’s not linked to gender, ethnicity, religion or social class.” – Floor Klaassen

 Candidate: Guerline Kamp
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Asse se sassè
“‘Asse se sassè’ is about the struggle that I experience with my cultural background as intercountry adopted child (from Haiti) and it shows the journey to my cultural identity in an abstract way. Living between two worlds creates a certain cultural instability. Can a new self-created reality provide the stability that’s missing? The struggle that takes place during this quest is visualised by deforming the monobloc chair. A chair that normally provides support is now unstable and damaged by crushing. It’s estranged but still recognisable from certain perspectives.” – Guerline Kamp

Candidate: Joshua Bour
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Impulsively Creative
“Attention deficit Hyperactivity disorder, or better known as ADHD is a mental disorder usually associated with young boys not being able to sit still or stop talking. The digital collection Impulsively Creative is opening a narrative on the topic, as undiagnosed ADHD in adults is very common and can lead to many problems. The creative process was led by impulse decisions and chasing what brought dopamine. It brings the light and positive attributes as well as highlighting some of the darker and less discussed.” – Joshua Bour

Candidate: Kicky van de Haar
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Kickyland
“My concept is about creating a new world. A world where people feel curious to learn more about the coherence in colours, prints and materials. This concept is all about breaking the uniformity wear and unwritten dress codes. My goal is to be a source of inspiration to people. In this world it’s all about playing with different perceptions of unpredictable patterns, colours and materials and to apply them all on a 100% basis. I would love to welcome you all to “Kickyland” Manifesto: Sometimes I doubt myself a lot. Sometimes It feels like I’m going insane, maybe I am. I Sometimes doubt my art, my meaning in life, my looks, my personality and my surroundings. I can’t even tell you if I have a strong confidence, so do I? I want to live, I want to have confidence, I want to make art, I want to dance, I want to kiss, I want to scream, so it’s never silent. I don’t know why everyone hides their anxiety. We believe that we feel so out of place and lonely so why do we doubt the art that reflects our souls? Look at the person next to you, we all do.” – Kicky van de Haar

Candidate: Kirsten van de Belt
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: Haveszate S
“The collection is originally inspired by the interaction and emotional connection between the human body and our natural surroundings. In addition to this, I was influenced by the indigenous architecture and self-sufficient cultures displayed in the counterculture book ‘Shelters’ by Lloyd Kahn, (1973). The constructive modules and systematic actions inspired me to approach the design process in a different way. This resulted in minimalistic and sustainable shapes. All garments are originated from nature reserve “Haveszate S” which makes them inseparable connected with its origin. Some pieces are connected through shape, others by found materials. Because of globalisation and industrialisation, clothing became estranged from its ancestral home and with that, lost a piece of its emotional value. With my collection I want to create awareness around this topic. I am questioning the way we are producing clothing now and how that indirectly effect our consumer-behaviour towards it.” – Kirsten van de Belt

Candidate: Laura Slings
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Forever Chasing Gilded Rainbows
“The world seems to get more and more materialistic. We are striving more than ever for more clothes, more expensive bags and bigger diamonds. But when will this striving end? When is a person content with what he has? When is the end-goal reached? You will only find out at the moment when all of these luxuries will start to suffocate you. It is a forever chasing gilded rainbows. We are all following toxic dreams. What you are sold in this world, is a bag of rotten goods.” – Laura Slings

Candidate: Lotte de Jager
Academy: Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Collection: The Dirt
“By using the human body and movement as my primary fabric, I explore ways of its capitalist tendencies. ‘The Dirt’ is a fashion choreography that asks you to reconsider your own body as a centerpiece to the fashion system. Reconnecting to our own body can help us reconnect to other bodies again, human and terrestrial, and promote a world that lives in symbiosis. In this line of thought I would like to amend Donna Haraway’s famous statement by inviting you to “make kin, not garments”.” – Lotte de Jager 

Candidate: Luna Wierdsma
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: De dood of de gladiolen
“‘De dood of de gladiolen’ is a carefully crafted message targeted toward the sports community. I created the collection with a desire to disembody the praising of hyper-masculine figures in (western) sports. My process started with a detail-orientated study of the construction of used sports shoes, which Asics provided for me. I wanted to find a way to incorporate the engineering aspect of shoe design into a wearable garment. I combined this contemporary research with the sharp contrast between the 1970’s striking silhouettes of eastern and western pop culture and its flamboyant attitude. Besides that, I began a sort of cultural research. I was intrigued by the odd dynamic between Glam Rock and Anatolian Rock. This research widens to an interest in functional sports garments and an ode to historical figures in sports that shifted the conceptions regarding gender, sexuality, and race in their time.” – Luna Wierdsma

Candidate: Marie Jacquet
Academy: Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Collection: The TrenchKit
“Amsterdam, Monday 28th of March: 22 degrees, very sunny, Thursday 31st of March: 4 degrees, hail and snow. Four seasons in one week, sometimes even several seasons in the same day. As the weather changes more rapidly and drastically, it is more difficult for us to keep up in terms of clothing. For that reason, I created a modular coat that can be worn in any weather. It consists of a simple coat base and many items that can be connected to it with a hook system, and even be layered. The items are designed as mini collections that meet different weather needs. Inspired by architecture, graphic lines and geometric shapes, I wanted to create a simple and minimalist coat base, especially so that it would be timeless and more likely be worn by the wearer through the years.” – Marie Jacquet 

Candidate: Pablo Salvador Willemars
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: Beste Reizigers
“In 2017, the ‘Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)’, the company that serves as the main Dutch rail network operator, is to address passengers with the gender neutral “beste reizigers”. The source of inspiration behind the collection ‘Beste Reizigers’ is train travel. Growing up next to the railway museum in Utrecht, having vivid travel memories and hearing endless stories from their parents, grandfather and great-great-grandfathers, who are all (or have been) employed by the Dutch railway company NS, I grew up dreaming of opulent journeys with l’Orient Express. In 1968, the NS became the first Dutch state-owned company to be given a designed corporate identity. The new logo symbolises a journey from A to B, and going back home from B to A. The yellow trains colouring the Dutch landscapes. Using the codes, lines, shapes, colours and finishes created for this corporate identity in the designs, I want to evoke the mixed bag of feelings train travel can give, the comfort of going home, the excitement of traveling afar as well as waiting for the train, 5+ min waiting for the train…” – Pablo Salvador Willemars

 Candidate: Papa Yorick
Academy: Gerrit Rietveld Academy
Collection: Title 18
“I am fetishizing people. I have been obsessed with the idea of what people want to look like and how they are perceived by others. I am happily disgusted by the terror of the need for belonging and disposing ourselves. In this, I see a language that stages opposition. By using this opposition, I alter existing narratives. My goal is not to create a new narrative: I just like to disturb people’s perception of things. I guess I am just not really interested in something that stays the same.” – Papa Yorick

Candidate: Povilas Gegevicius
Academy: Willem de Kooning Academy
Collection: The Familiar Other
“After living away for 12 years from Lithuania, I decided to finally reconnect with this side of my identity and explore it as a professional artist. I reflected on my hybrid identity through research into the country’s performative re-branding and emancipation of its national identity during the time frame of 1990s.The 1990s is a romantic interval representing Lithuania’s “true” independence. It’s when the country was trying to re-establish, re-brand and re-position itself. Similarly to how I’m trying to find my position in the world. With its nostalgic, uncanny moulaging explorations and well-crafted clothes the collection “The Familiar Other” explores the identity question of fitting in within a new environment. Seemingly misfit but yet ordinary clothes.” – Povilas Gegevicius

Candidate: Rosa Kampinga
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: Untitled
“My inspiration for the collection comes from my fascination off post punk. The artists from the 80s, but most of all the contemporary movements that combine nostalgia with modern views. The sense of creating a community that originated from a shared feeling of being misunderstood. They turned this feeling around to the feeling of belonging, to something special. My collection is a love letter to post punk and its diverse community. The poetry and vulnerability that the artists dare to express. But and also the joy, passion and energy of the interaction with their audience.” – Rosa Kampinga

Candidate: Rowen Lammers
Academy: Utrecht School of the Arts
Collection: Love letter to my culture
“For this collection I focus in particular on fashion related from the working-class neighbourhood in which I grew up. A working-class district where the hardcore comes together and share many memories and events. A hysterical out of control place where there is a lot of love for football, André Hazes, the corner shop and the annual street parties. A place full of different characters who all have one thing in common: proud of the neighbourhood where they were born and raised.
What these characters also have in common are the striking tracksuits and comfortable silhouettes in which they like to show themselves. Outfits that reflect what they stand for and how they want to be seen. Garments that are therefore labeled as “typical working-class neighbourhoods”. I want to dedicate this collection as a love letter to my culture, an ode to the uniform of the neighbourhood.” – Rowen Lammers

Candidate: Ruben Jurrien
Academy: Amsterdam Fashion Institute
Collection: Pak van Mijn Hart!
“‘Pak van Mijn Hart!’ is a collection inspired by the image of clothing in our current society. A society in which we sometimes feel insecure, unsafe, or not ourselves. The collection is intended as a playing field to discover what kind of superhero is hiding in you. The collection will weave the superhero suit into the traditional suit which now has dubious associations; the disguise for the successful businessman, the politicians, but also for power abusers. By playing with the traditional dress rules I can create free garments that allow you to distance yourself from the great grey mass and its negative associations. This way you can use the suit carefree for the power it carries, and free the superhero in yourself.” – Ruben Breed

Candidate: Shao Jun Woo
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: BITE ME!
“The source of inspiration for my collection was my own personal journey of finding my own self. As a kid with strict parents, there were always limitations of what I could or could not wear or even say. I always had to dress and act in a certain way. Therefore, I had the feeling I never developed my own self fully. The desire to find my confident and feminine self grew more and more as I got older. As a young woman and womenswear designer I strongly feel like we should be able to wear anything we want without being objectified. With the collection I made, I want to push societal standards imposed on women. I want to push the boundaries on what women should and should not wear. As well as how we should or should not behave. I want women to be able to express their selves and their sexuality freely without being objectified by society. This collection exists for young women like me. Young women who are unbothered by someone else’s opinion and do whatever they want to do! Young women who just want to have fun and feel sexy.” – Shao Jun Woo

Candidate: Signe Munch Grønlund
Academy: Royal Academy of Art, The Hague
Collection: Reality of a Fool
“In my graduation project, I explore the poetry of masquerade by dressing up, covering up, fooling around, dressing down and showing the poetry of this process. I am the fool fooling the fools. In the spirit of the fool, nothing is too silly or too serious. I can be the clown, the gorilla or the mattress I want to be. We are surrounded by the ordinary, but somehow its innate beauty doesn’t catch our attention. I fool around with the ordinary, I explore the poetry in boredom, uniformity and ugliness, by fooling around with utilitarian objects: an inflatable mattress, a sewing machine cover, couch covers and restriction tape. I fool around with recognisable objects and their covers to dismantle the ordinary and exalt it into a hyperreality. I copy an ordinary object that already has a close relationship to humans, but I present it in a clothing context. By closer look, the ordinary might be our revelation. I wish to create an ordinary hyperreality as a rebellious response to the unglamorous glamorous contradictory embedded in fashion. Is that the reality of a fool?” – Signe Munch Grønlund

Candidate: Stijn Koks
Academy: Royal Academy of Art, The Hague
“My collection ‘GROWING UP IS FOR ADULTS’ is mocking adulthood, and celebrating the now. Kids embrace the now, adults worry mainly. The medical industry is a characterising element of adulthood. Pills, COVID-tests, needles and other medical waste are a representation of the constant awareness of the future. An attempt to escape death. I contradict this notion with my fascination for childhood toys and action figures. Playing with an action figure is the purest form of living in the now. The unconditioned child does not have a notion of time, as it is just exploring the world without preconditioned limitations. It has imagination that can create anything. Kids show not to be limited by boundaries, judgements, laws and regulations, nor by what seems to be impossible in the adult mind. A plea to take on a more playful view on life, reflecting on our seriousness.” – Stijn Koks

Candidate: Tara Hollander
Academy: ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
Collection: Skin-deep
“My whole life I have been inspired and intrigued by the anatomy of the human body. The endless elements and functions of it, and that it is all covered by skin. I feel like clothing should be connected way more to this and should show the beauty of it on the outside. I made use of this inspiration in print, but also in shape. Most of the pieces in my graduation collection are suits that embrace the whole body, because I think it is important that the clothing, without wearing it, looks like a complete body on its own and has, in that sense, almost a soul. In this way people will feel more connected to clothing and will treat it like it is part of them.” – Tara Hollander



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