On Friday September 1st, Lichting 2023, the 17th debutante ball for the cream of the crop in up-and-coming design talent, took place midst the regal ambiance of Felix Meritis. The 10 best graduates from the seven Dutch fashion academies met their crowd for the first time after proving themselves to an international jury during a nerve-wrecking panel pitch. This year, there was a profound return to the roots of fashion, with participants choosing to embrace the timeless allure of the runway. It was a bold choice, one that reflected their unwavering commitment to the core essence of their designs.
By extending its arms to embrace design graduates via open call, Lichting has positioned itself at the epicentre of a burgeoning pool of exceptionally gifted candidates, unrivalled in talent and potential. One luminary stood out, effortlessly ticking all the boxes from concept inception to flawless execution, and above all, exuding unparalleled determination. This year, Yousra Razine Mahrah takes the well-deserved first place.
“I am not afraid. Not afraid to combine materials or concepts that aren’t really in the same world(s). This is also because I am a person that navigates within worlds that are clashing against each other and I am standing in the middle of it trying to make it work.”
Yousra Razine Mahrah
Embarking on a creative journey that weaves together four distinct facets of her personal identity as a Moroccan woman, Yousra displayed a technically immaculate collection drawn from her upbringing in a restrictive Islamic household. Influences from Berber Folklore people in Morocco, Moroccan street style fashion, the vision her parents held for her – a more conservative and modest appearance, and lastly her own sartorial choices. Sensual lingerie against parental modesty, Berber goat skin traditions, and Dutch-imposed stereotypes create a dynamic tension between concept, as well as material and texture choices. Using Geert Wilders’ notorious 2014 “Minder Marokkanen” speech as the backdrop of her show, her collection K*TMAROKKAAN withholds a powerful statement that, similar to her designs, won’t go unnoticed.
The Jury Report
This year, the panel of international jury members included Marlo Saalmink (Curator at large & Artistic Director), Tom van der Burght (Visual Artist and Fashion Designer), Ahmad Larnes (Creative Producer Tommy Hilfiger), and Gry Nissen (Creative Design Director and Brand Developer).
The participants of Lichting 2023: Annalie van Doorn, Yousra Razine Mahrah, Bastiaan Reijnen, Tim van der Plas, Ulkuhan Akgul, Floyd Rorije, Joseph William Raidt, Berke Taslidere, André Konings, and Eva Marie-Louise Vos.
Together, the international jury chose unanimously to select Yousra as the official winner of Lichting 2023.