We are more than proud to present the 10 finalists of Lichting 2022. Before their debut to the public on the 2nd of September, AFW sat down with each participant to talk about their collection and their plans for the upcoming Lichting show. This week we would like to introduce you to ArtEZ graduate Rosa Kampinga!
How did the concept behind your graduation collection come to being?
Whilst growing up, I have been searching for my place in the world. I found that instead of finding my place, I could create my own. I have a passion for music and the community that exists around it. My inspiration for this 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 also the joy, passion and energy of the interaction with their audience.
During the past five years at the academy, I found out that my mind and design process works better for menswear. However, I love to see women in my clothing who can identify with the spirit of the collection. The men who I design for are not afraid to make bold choices, are eccentric and provocative and sometimes slightly overwhelmed by nostalgia and melancholia. They are the romantics of a new era and go against the current of the sheep of society.
How would you describe your signature as a designer? How does this reflect in your collection?
For me it is really important that the designs translate both nostalgia and joy, and that textile development and design go hand in hand. When I envision the poetic and nostalgic nature of the people who wear my garments I think of fabric in movement. It’s important that the garments are wearable but they need courage and determination to be worn.
The designs and materials I use are in a constant conversation between fragility and empowerment. I love to develop my own unique textiles. For this collection, I created two different check patterns by stitching and embroidering ripped silk fabric and yarn on a base of deadstock cotton and wool. Instead of working with knitwear I created my own ‘knit technique’ by embroidering a merino wool yarn in a mesh fabric. It has the same properties as a knit but with so much more character. Besides creating my own textiles, I used mostly deadstock fabrics and I also upcycled vintage pieces.
There were vintage sailor jersey t-shirts that I fell in love with during the design process so I decided to upcycle them into a safari suit. These spontaneous decisions are very characterising for the free spirit of the collection.
On July 29th, you were introduced to the Lichting jury for the first time. How did you experience this moment? What feedback do you take with you to your presentation during AFW?
I really loved to present the collection to the Lichting Jury. It was beautiful to present the collection to professionals who were not there during the design process but understood my vision. That feeling of understanding gave me a great spark and drive to present the collection at Amsterdam Fashion Week.
Which piece from the collection are you most proud of? Why?
The process of the embroidered cricket jumper immediately comes to my mind. During the pre-collection in the winter I worked on a knitwear garment. However, there was a lot of frustration when the knit fell of the machine. For me, it is really important that I work in a positive working environment with good energy, so I did not want to have the same feeling the knit brought me for my final collection. Therefore, I created my own knit technique. I worked for two months just on the embroidery for this piece during my train rides from Amsterdam to Arnhem. Sewing the actual piece only took me thirty minutes, but there is so much love and craftsmanship in this garment. Another look that comes to mind is the pinstripe suit. The tailoring is very classical but with a lot of details that come from my research. I was really proud that I had the skills to actually make a tailored look like this. It is one thing to design the garment, but to be able to realise your ideas is very rewarding.
What would be the ideal way to present your collection to the public in September? Can you already say something about what you currently have in mind?
My greatest wish, as a designer, would be to be able to work interdisciplinary with other artists and musicians in particular. This brings me so much inspiration and I would love to be able to share that with an audience.