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 AMFI graduate Ruben Jurriën!
How did the concept behind your graduation collection come to being?
I feel like during my entire design career, I’ve been working towards this collection. It’s a very personal story, but yet something I think we almost all can relate to. During my research I stumbled upon multiple style guides. These guides were filled with rules on what a decent man was and wasn’t allowed to wear. All these rules just made me furious, and I wanted to show the world that those guides are not the only way to live your life by. Finding your own being and listening to that is way more fun.
How would you describe your signature as a designer? How does this reflect in your collection?
I would describe my signature as gender free happiness. Very much inspired by little me playing around in my parents’ wardrobe. I love the oversized silhouette. All my garments are either one size fits all or adjustable to your own size. This is very important to me. The reason I do so is that no one can feel excluded from being a part of the fun and beautiful world of fashion.
I play with colour, shape and semiotics. Giving things a new meaning/use is something I find very powerful in fashion design. My designs are flamboyant yet functional. Contributing to the desire to be extra, yet be able to carry your phone with you. This collection is the epiphany of that signature realised in garments, and I can’t wait to show you all!
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 had so much fun pitching my collection to the wonderful jury! The biggest compliment I got was that one of the judges actually wanted to buy one of the pieces in my collection. They gave me the feedback to really dive into starting my own label, and that has always been my dream. During this pitch I got to put the focus on the concept, so for my AFW presentation I truly want to focus on the garments and all its (fun)ctional details.
Which piece from the collection are you most proud of? Why?
Tough question. Honestly, I’m proud of the collection in its totality but if I had to pick one item, it has to be “The Tie Polo”. The Polo is inspired by the rugby polo, a symbol of masculine sports, but made fun. Ties are meant to be worn around your neck, but that’s a bit suffocating isn’t it? So, in my polo, the stripes are replaced with actual sewn in ties. The only tie that goes down your neck is the fabricated polo plaquette. For this polo I asked Facebook for some tie donations and I now have about 200 ties, ready to be recycled. It’s the product that I would love to make so much more variations of and it’s so much fun because not one tie is the same, so not one polo will look identical.
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?
Well we don’t know what the exact format will be, but I’m in some ways an old school fashion lover so I would love to host a fashion show. Whatever my presentation will look like in the end, it is most important for me to show the garments on different bodies, in motion. If it’s not going be a show, I would love to create this environment where my models just exist, and maybe let people experience it themselves. Try things on, feel, play.