23-07-2021Darwin Winklaar wins Lichting 2020

Following the shows and performances in September’20 Amsterdam Fashion Week presented Lichting 2020 on the 6th of July 2021 at the Hermitage Amsterdam. The fourteen best graduates of the seven Dutch fashion academies presented themselves and their work to a (inter)national jury. Lichting 2020 was the first of its kind; the changing fashion education, and therefore more innovative graduation work, allow us to change the concept of Lichting for the first time. The 2020 edition was a multidisciplinary showcase of installations, film, show, physical collections and digital work.
Darwin Winklaar, graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, is chosen as the winner of Lichting 2020. The winner of Lichting 2020 won a prize of €10.000,- and a stand-alone show during the next edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week. The second part of the prize, legal support and advise with regard to creating and developing a fashion brand and -business (with a value of € 5.000,00 ex. BTW) of Van Kaam IP, Media & Privacy, is given to Irene Ha, alias Baby Reni, because of her potential to further develop as a brand.

Darwin Winklaar presented the result of a deep investigation into the folk religious practices that take predominantly place in the Carribean. Through a series of six altars and a performance, Darwin shared their decolonizing rituals aiming to grow awareness and knowledge on marginalized cultures in The Netherlands. The work transcends fashion and is multidisciplinary.

Irene Ha, operating as Baby Reni, developed a collection based on systematic collaboration and the unique aesthetic of a generation “raised” by the internet. She tackles prejudices about her Asianness by creating and connecting. Via her work, she brings together an online international community of likeminded souls.

This year’s international panel was formed by Gijsje Ribbens (creative director & fashion editor), Edson Sabajo (co-founder Patta), Amber Jae Slooten (co-founder & creative director The Fabricant) and Borre Akkersdijk (co-founder and chief creative officer BYBORRE). They met all participants during the panel pitches and spoke extensively about the participants’ work and vision. The panel unanimously agreed on the talent of Darwin Winklaar and Irene Ha. From the jury report:

The participants showed authentic vision and a broad spectrum of work. The statements they made via their work and presentations showed a zeitgeist that is obviously colored by a pandemic, a societal turbulent time, and a need for change. Creating communities and building bridges between people were topics that were addressed in different forms.

Darwin moved all four of us with their personal work. Darwins multidisciplinary display carried us along their story, experience and mission to connect through emotion and education. It is an important story and research that contributes to a community in need of representation. Darwin shows that fashion is an expression without borders and that must be shared. Fashion cannot and should not be placed in boxes. We also want to send a clear signal to academies and industry that the old system should be renewed through open communication and dialogue, instead of dictating what fashion is supposed to look like. Darwin makes fashion as fashion is indented: an expression.

Irene started a community from her own need to feel at home and for representation. An “inbetween community” which everyone can be part of and may think and create together. It is a renewed form of community and brand building in one.

As the panel, via this choice we make a statement that fashion may, can and should be more than garments.