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Lichting 2013

It’s that one show during Amsterdam Fashion Week that attracts the most diverse audience and never disappoints. This year’s lucky winner is Henriëtte Tilanus from ArtEZ Institute of the Arts. 

By Cassandra Pizzey / 18-07-2013

In a race to the finish, as described by HTNK’s Mariette Hoitink, thirteen graduates chosen by their respective academies presented their final collections during Lichting 2013. An initiative of HTNK Fashion Recruitment & Consultancy, Amsterdam Fashion Week and The New Institute and supported by denim brand G-Star RAW, the competition offers the best academy graduates a chance to present their collection to some 700 industry professionals. Judged by a panel of industry experts and an audience of fashion journalists, stylists, CEOs and other fashion designers, the winner is offered a cash prize to further her collection as well as a behind-the-scenes look during a major G-Star RAW fashion show. 

This year’s star of the show came in the form of Henriëtte Tilanus, an ArtEZ graduate whose collection is based on the style of 1920s socialite and author Lady Edith Sitwell. Photographed by Cecil Beaton, portraits of Lady Sitwell showcase her love for art yet also present a glimpse of her loneliness. “I envision this loneliness to be a consequence of her misunderstood beautiful creative mind,” says Tilanus in an earlier interview.


What came down the runway was a romantic hommage to ‘creative visionaries’, an eccentric collection featuring printed materials, couture references and high-waisted trousers. Some of the most impressive outfits included a high-low printed top with wire bra, a checkered suit on which the ink seemed to have run and a top featuring dozens of semi-transparent flowers made from found objects.


About the collection Tilanus says: “I imagined her in today’s time, sitting in her beautiful ancient house but part of a modern world. The prints of her outfit would have been bleached and partly devoured by moths. Her embroideries are frayed and all of it is covered in a small layer of dust.”

Prints are hand-dyed by the designer and the ‘antique’ look of her clothes is achieved trough ripping out threads. 


The professional jury this year included Stefan Siegel (Njal), Maarten van der Horst (fashion designer), Robb Young (journalist/consultant) and Alexander Fury (fashion editor for The Independant). After visiting the designers at their Lichting atelier and seeing the clothing up close, it was up to them to make a final decision on the winner.


All agreed that this year’s standards were exceptionally high and Van der Horst talked of how the clothing comes to life on the catwalk, sometimes even bringing an emotional experience. 


For the full list of nominees and more information about Lichting, please visit the Lichting 2013 website


Images by Peter Stigter

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