Once a year the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) hosts its annual graduate show at the World Fashion Center in Amsterdam. This year marked the tenth anniversary of the graduate event, which saw over 100 students from Design, Management and Branding present their graduate projects and themselves
to the fashion industry.
Together the graduates from the three disciplines put together an exposition which showcased their final projects. These projects where diverse and wide spread, ranging from the organization of a fashion networking festival dedicated for students and young professionals, to the investigation of textile innovation, to the possible retail concepts of the future, to innovation in sustainability. Twelve graduates from Fashion and Design program presented their final collections during the Transit catwalk show, which featured a range of new materials, colors and techniques students had learnt during their course. The collections presented ranged from innovative, to commercially viable to creatively artistic to borderline absurd. FashionUnited selected a few of the collections that really stood out.
First to show was graduate menswear designer Daniel Arosemena, from Ecuador. His eclectic collection, entitled 'Folkloric sins of a Modern Dandy' was inspired by his own heritage along with the history surrounding the English dandy. "The collection creates a new class of menswear that responds to the complexity of my identity and heritage," commented Arosemena. He aims to contrast the traditional attire of menswear with the formality and playfulness of Edward VIII with the loud and vibrant visuals of pre-colonial Latin America. "My modern dandy blooms between the influences of a strong cultural background deeply rooted in his personality and the need to amend and take control of his identity." This resulted in jackets, with intricate detailing and patterns, a blend of tribal and modern prints pair with loud accents that ranged from oversized ruffle lace trims, to white lapels and laced ribbons and unique panelling.
Dutch womenswear designer Maartje Peeters, who is also one of the designers selected for Moam Collective 2, was up next and showcased her colorful collection named 'Delightful Inferno'. She describes her own childhood style as "simply weird" but her early creative experiments were the basis for many interesting designs, including paint splatters, multi-colored fur and kitsch logos. "I'm still not sure if my work is ‘too much’ or perceived as ‘ugly’. But I stopped worrying about it. Ugly is exciting," she said on her own style. The final collection includes truckers hats bedecked in colorful fur, oversized sweaters speckled with paint splatters and a patchwork fur coat, embellished with fabric roses and jewels.
If fetish masks were to become the next big fashion trend, then UK womenswear designer Abbie Stirrup would mostly likely deliver the most colorful and artistic of them. For her final collection, entitled 'Glorious Relapse,' the graduate looked within herself for inspiration. She set forth to create "a visual translation" of her own journey from dark to light, according to an interview with i-D. This translated to abstract looks made from colorful digitally printed fabrics, hand-dyed materials, exaggerated silhouettes and forms, paired with oversized horns and masks to reflect the transition between the two worlds.
Another designer to turn away from conventional pretty fashion looks was German womenswear designer Maria Wöstmann, with her collection entitled 'Der Mut zum Unsinn ist der Mut zum Sein.' Ranging from unusual to down right near absurd at time, she designed her collection to be the humoristic response to the daily pressures put upon people every day by society. Looking to Dadaism for her inspiration, her sense of humour in regards to the female form and the constraints placed upon women in particular in society resulted in a collection that features a dress made of what resembles breasts, a fat suit, as well as mock pregnancy dress, adorned with keys and condoms.