Amsterdam | Dylan Westerweel has won the Lichting 2019 fashion award for his menswear collection ‘Jack Saul’.
The winner was announced at the culmination of the Lichting 2019 Amsterdam Fashion Week show in the Nieuwe Kerk, where the 14 nominees—alumni of seven Dutch academies—presented their work.
Westerweel’s ‘Jack Saul’ menswear collection was inspired by the beauty of and problems faced by the eponymous homosexual prostitute from the Victorian era. Dylan regards this beauty and sexuality as a weapon—the male counterpart to the femme fatale. The collection is based around magnified masculine forms: 3D ‘muscle’ patchwork, constricted waistlines and integrated bums. Classic male clothing has been revamped and accentuates parts of the body in a surprising way. Delicate, alluring materials have been hand-painted or combined with embroidery and 3D structures of florals and hearts. The colour palette encompasses pink, magenta, white and blue—from pastel cottons to striking magenta woollens.
This year the international panel comprised Kim Bekker (Freelance Creative Direction for such parties as Isabel Marant), Eva Losada (Fashion Photographer), Jo Simpson (Curriculum Leader at the Fashion & Textiles department of Central Saint Martins) and Rolien Zonneveld (Editor-in-chief i-D Netherlands). They met all 14 participants during an intensive panel pitch session the day before the show in the 5&33 gallery of art'otel Amsterdam. There, they talked at length about the participants’ collections and design visions. The panel was unanimous about Dylan Westerweel’s talent.
As their report states:
Over the course of fashion history, designers have reacted to, and in many cases influenced, the social and political frameworks of sexiness of their respective times. Today, with gender identities and expectations crumbling quicker than ever, the idea of what makes a man sexy has never been more fluid.
Dylan’s collection was a refreshing take on what that masculine sexiness means in 2019. Inspired by the rent boys of the Victorian period, he gave us an interesting take on the idealised masculine silhouette, by crafting intricate corsets for men and combining it with soft and seductive fabrics. His use of embroidery, hand painting and 3D structures in florals and anatomical hearts showed great technical skill. His baby blue and magenta pink colour pallet, applied to soft hand dyed pink cotton and wools was original and fresh.
We are very excited to see what Dylan will do next.
Lichting is the Dutch fashion industry’s debutante ball, a celebration of talent and creativity. The concept is simple: the 14 most talented designers from the seven Dutch fashion academies present their work to the industry and to critics from the fashion press as part of a single, central catwalk show.
Lichting is an initiative of Amsterdam Fashion Week and HTNK fashion recruitment & consultancy and is supported by the Meester Koetsier Foundation. The Meester Koetsier Foundation provides funding to educational establishments and students in the fields of fashion, clothing and textiles.