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Fashion Week NL / MAFAD talent 2016

MAFAD nominees for Lichting 2016 are: Domino Vugts and Maarten van Mulken

Domino Vugts


Women who are powerful and dare to be different inspire me. I’m always searching for a way to design powerful women’s clothes without using too many masculine shapes or silhouettes. Women don’t need a man’s suit to show their power. We don’t need to cover anything up, we can show ourselves to the world. But even today this takes courage and I think women need more boldness and bravery in the way they represent themselves.

I wanted to make a women’s collection with elements and inspiration from Formula 1 racing. I focused on the strong clean lines that you see in the racing circuits, which always a combination between curved and straight lines. Furthermore, a racing car exists out of several elements and layers and I wanted to use this idea of different layers in different colors and different material; hard and soft, smooth and rough, glossy and matte.

I see Formula 1 as a very cool, powerful and high speed sport, but also as a field which is still dominated by men. Currently there are no female drivers in the Formula 1 racing teams. I find this shocking. I believe that women are fully empowered to work in every field they want so it makes me sad to see the opposite. In this racing sport men are seen as winners and heroes whereas women are seen as sensual objects. I believe this has to change! Women are not mere decoration; women are individuals with visions, focus and strength.

My collection reflects what I think women could be, if they dare. I playfully want to challenge women to step out of their comfort zone and dare to be the heroines and winners I know they are.

She who dares, wins.


Maarten van Mulken

The Last Garrison – of the autarkic ego

For me, my designs are not just pieces of clothing. They embody an idea, and are shaped into a form that clashes two worlds together. From one side its clothing that is well crafted and gives an ode to the love I have for the couture fashion. From the other side it brings a dramatic statement that should raise questions with the audience in how they make their decisions in buying clothes. This concept will always be a crucial point in the designs I make. It cannot be just beautiful clothing, it has to give the viewer something to think about.

For this collection I looked to the ‘autarkic egos’ of people. The autarkic ego is a term invented by philosopher Ayn Rand and is crucial in her objectivism. She states that the autarkic ego is a person that holds an idea and doesn’t change that idea to please other people. It’s a person that makes its own rational choices and thinks before he acts. With my collection I wanted to transform opinions people have towards consumption. I wanted to create my own resistance army of aggressive woman that embody this idea. They choose for themselves and will not bow with their ideas for anybody. At the start of my designs I cut up a lot of army clothing and rearranged them in a new order around the body to show the ridiculousness of how fashion makes clothing that’s rather impractical to wear. The choice for army clothing was easy and had multiple meanings, but mostly because army clothing is very practical and by cutting it up the practical side gets lost. From that choice on, I wanted to work with patterns that save fabric in cutting, but because of that you even loose more fabric in a piece of clothing.

Normally in making patterns for garments produces a lot of wasted fabric, which is later thrown away. In my current collection I instead create patterns that up the whole width of the fabric, which does not allow for waste, but because of their design, all the fabric remains on the body, so at the end it uses much more fabric compared to a conventional way of construction. This could trigger the audience to question their personal view on overconsumption in fashion.

Rich fabrics combined with a lot of embroideries and handcrafted finishings make an authentic collection, not easy to copy and not meant to be over-produced. This, combined with the aesthetics of army-inspired couture and with a final dress that holds enormous amounts of fabric, is my criticism of overconsumption in fashion today. This is my army ‘The Last Garrison - of the autarkic ego’.

Maarten Van Mulken

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