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The students of Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht come into play for this years graduate coverage by our Contributor ARMANDO BRANCO, photographing their graduate collections and also preparing the exclusive interview with the talented hopefuls for MMSCENE Issue 017. We selected five HKU talented graduate designers and first in the line is the talented LUCIA VAN DEN HOVEN.

LUCIA VAN DEN HOVEN fashion designer, born in 1994 in the Netherlands. Lisa’s graduation project is to take part in the Dutch Design Week 2017 (21-19 October) in Eindhoven.

Scroll down for our interview with Lucia.

What does it mean for you to be a designer ?
As a designer I find it very important to be engaged with the crafts and manufacturing of fabrics. Putting time and effort in each piece of fabric is very satisfying, that is why I enjoy exploring different materials. I strive for my cloths to be enriching the consumer. First of all by using high quality and organic materials but also with new materials and techniques.

Can you tell us something about your current collection ?
‘Our Dearest Closet’ is a unisex collection. The separate pieces are interchangeable wearable.

This project has a link with the social theme: solidarity with family versus individualization. The coastlines of Zeeland (the Netherlands), where I have gathered many valuable memories with my friends and family, inspired me. Being surrounded by your loved ones signifies true wealth. In this fast paced world we live in people should spend more time together.
With this project it is all about being transparent, about nature, high quality materials, treating the clothes with care and sharing it with my loved ones, while being aware of the environment. Starting this intense relationship with clothes through manipulating fabrics. Thread after thread, time-consuming, making the exact desired fabric. A relationship grows, like woven or knitted fabrics. I only work with natural materials. Sustainability is very important to me and I prefer locally produced products. I think products become more valuable if their background is transparent.

Which obstacles did you face regarding creating this collection ?
It was quite a time consuming investigation to find the right proportions in the outfits for men and women. The clothes are interchangeable, but how do I assure that every outfit stays interesting? The biggest obstacle for me was how to communicate the design as an unisex collection.

Nowadays there seems to be a thin line between what is socially accepted for men or women clothing. I want to break the stereotype gender codes within clothing and fashion. Share your wardrobe. Therefore it is a unisex collection. With small adjustments the outfits can be worn as masculine or feminine. This kind of interaction between the wearer and the piece of clothing is a recurring aspect for me as a designer. The designs will last longer and will be worn more often, which contributes to responsible fashion.

Which fashion ‘faux pas’ should belong to our history (regarding men’s fashion) ?
As a matter of fact I think everything can be worn. If I have to name anything, it will be socks in sandals. I do not see the point of that.

Apparently every woman should have at least one black (little) skirt/dress … What should every man have in their closet as a fashionable basic ?
A black shirt. That looks good on every man, whatever the shape, and can be worn to any occasion.

What will the future hold for the fashion-industry ?
First of all : to produce and sell fabrics in a more sustainable way, and therefore buyers will hopefully see that they can make a difference by what they choose to purchase and in that way contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

I expect the border between men’s and women’s clothes to blur more and more. Plus new and smart techniques in creating fabrics will be developed. Moreover I expect certain new techniques will be developed to create interaction between the fabric, clothes and the wearer.

What will the future hold for you ?
Would love to work for a label that focuses on fabrics and the manufacturing of it. I would like to explore the old craftsmanship but also new techniques. And not to forget, the sustainable aspect, which I find very important.

For more of Lucia’s work visit:

Photography concept & interview by Armando Branco
Hair Stylist Patricia van Heumen for Aveda at Angelique Hoorn Management
Makeup Artist Marije Koelewijn for Ellis Faas Cosmetics at Angelique Hoorn management
Models by FIC Model Mngmt: Daa, Rutger, Jess, Tuyk, Ian, and Martin

Originally published in MMSCENE Issue 017 – available now in print and digital.

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