Meet the Lichting 2022 finalists: Pablo Salvador Willemars

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 Pablo Salvador Willemars!


How did the concept behind your graduation collection ‘Beste Reizigers’ come to being?
Growing up next to the railway museum in Utrecht and having vivid travel memories definitely play a part in the concept of  ‘Beste Reizigers’. Hearing endless stories from both my parents, grandfather and great-great-grandfathers who are all or have been employed by the Dutch railway company ‘Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS)’, as well as dreaming of opulent journeys with the Orient Express inspired me to create this collection.

How would you describe your signature as a designer? How does this reflect in your collection?
My signature as a designer is the way I depict concepts with three-dimensional shapes. These worn objects are separate from the body but always remain in constant conversation with the body that is holding them up. Alongside these sculptural shapes live wearable garments which explore different silhouettes of expressing my story. Often humour plays a part in my work. I however take my art very seriously. I use humour as an element of surprise in my collections, like the ears poking through a headscarf, a skirt with KIOSK cup holder and the tray table growing out of the sewn-in waistband of a jacket. I create beauty that can be worn, held, placed on the body or be appreciated from afar.

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?
The feedback I received from the jury is that I should keep going at the tempo I’m working now, invite everyone into my world and watch this wonderful journey take place together.

Which piece from the collection are you most proud of? Why?
One of the first looks I designed became the one I’m most proud of. In this look, the model sticks their arm through a shoulder bag made from Nederlandse Spoorwegen SLR sprinter seat coverings. The square seat coverings were sewn together to portray the story of dragging all of your belongings in the train. Next to the shoulder bag, the look consists of an upcycled foldable bike handbag, with vintage 1930’s hatbox with distressed and gum-covered textile. The body is dressed in an NS soft-shell uniform jacket that was transformed into a bodywarmer, and shorts finished with the same faux leather piping used as the trimming for the shoulder bag. I am proud of this look because it tells my story through a new way of making garments, a garment as a functional object.

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?
This collection has only been captured on film for the graduation presentation and I wished the audience could have felt the music from their inner core, heard the models stomping, smelled the models and felt the wind of the garments passing by. So, in September my models will be running for their trains on the runway of Amsterdam Fashion Week!


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