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Ruben Jurriën wins Lichting 2022 with graduation collection 'Pak van mijn hart!

By Nora Veerman

Sep 5, 2022


Lichting-winner Ruben Jurriën (second from left). Photo via Team Peter Stigter

Amsterdam - Ruben Jurriën is the winner of Lichting 2022. This was announced after the annual Lichting show in the Dutch capital. During the show seven selected alumni of Dutch fashion academies showed their work, as well as three alumni who were chosen through an open call.

This year's international jury consisted of Sleek Magazine editor and consultant Nayeun Kim, textile and fashion designer Karime Salame Sainz, Fashion Film Festival founder Anil Atalan and Isabella Shepherd, e-commerce curator at Not Just A Label. The jury was charmed by Jurrien's "positive, upbeat message", says Atalan after the show. "In addition, his collection was extremely polished. It has both artistic and commercial value."

The Lichting Award represents 10,000 euros in cash and legal advice by Van Kaam Advocaten worth 5,000 euros. "I really dreamed of this," says a beaming Jurriën when FashionUnited speaks to him after the ceremony. "I am extremely happy that there is support for my story, that I am listened to, as someone who is plus-size and queer, and that there is faith in my future plans."

Collection 'Pak van mijn hart!' steals hearts of Lichting jury

Jurriën, who graduated form the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI), himself was the first model during the show. He emerged dressed in a T-shirt with horizontally sewn-in ties, red trousers and a red cap with a ribbon.

Jurriëns' graduation collection contained several references to traditional menswear: in addition to the sewn-in ties, it included a pinstripe suit, a trench coat and a shirt. But instead of being fitted and tight-fitting, his designs were loose, long, or fitted with large flounces. "Flamboyant" is how Jurriëns describes his work. It's also playful: the pinstripe of the suit is actually a heart pattern, and several garments feature images of Toetie, a cuddly toy from Jurriëns' childhood. Toetie used to make him feel safe and secure, says Jurriëns. "I wanted to hold on to that feeling."

The collection is titled 'Pak van mijn hart!', which is a reference to tailoring ('pak' in Dutch is another word for 'suit', ed.) and to the relief Jurriën felt when he saw his vision of fashion become reality. ('Pak van mijn hart' is a Dutch saying used to express relief, ed.). Jurriëns' vision is one of positivity and inclusiveness. His clothes are also for 'people who don't fit the standard', he says. "Your body should never be a barrier to experiencing fashion." His creations are one-size-fits-all and can be enlarged or reduced with a simple action. "One pair of trousers can accomodate eight sizes."

With the cash prize Jurriën wants to start his own studio, he says. "I want my garments to be worn. I want to get them out on the streets."

Lichting-winner Ruben Jurriën. Photo via Team Peter Stigter

Lichting works with open call for the first time

Previously, Lichting participants were only selected from the seven participating fashion academies in The Netherlands: the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design (MAFAD), the Willem de Kooning Academy (WDKA) in Rotterdam, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KABK) in The Hague, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, Artez Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU). Each academy then selected two alumni who could show their work during Amsterdam Fashion Week.

This year, the number of selected alumni per academy was reduced to one. Graduates who were not selected by an academy could apply for Lichting independently for the first time this year, through an open call. Eighteen designers were chosen from this call. Together with seven designers selected by the academies, they showed their work to the jury. This resulted in ten finalists, who presented during Amsterdam Fashion Week.

It was difficult to choose a winner out of the ten finalists, according to Salame Sainz. "Each designer had a story of their own," he said. Often this was a very personal story: Jurriën's work is an example of this, but also Bryan Borghans' (MAFAD) collection, which he based on his first visit to dance festival Tomorrowland. With her designs Rowen Lammers (HKU), took the audience through the neighbourhood where she grew up, a 'hysterical, vulgar place where people share a love of soccer, Dutch singer André Hazes, the corner shop and the annual street party'.

About Lichting Lichting is an initiative of Amsterdam Fashion Week and HTNK International and is supported by the Meester Koetsier Foundation and Van Kaam Advocaten. During Lichting ten talented graduates of Dutch fashion academies show their work. The goal of Lichting is to offer promising designers a springboard to a viable career.

Lichting-winner Ruben Jurriën. Photo via Team Peter Stigter

This article was translated from Dutch and previously published on FashionUnited.nl

Ruben Jurriën