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As it’s June and as the academic year is almost over, graduation students all over the Netherlands present their final projects. Last week we wrote about the ArtEZ students, while this week the students of HKU (Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht) come in play.

On Thursday 13th June, the HKU graduation students presented their work in a twice sold-out Graduation Show. Remarkable: five men’s collections among them. Wim Ewals, head lecturer at HKU Fashion: “This is a striking tendency which is also visible with other fashion schools in the Netherlands.” In recent years, there has been a reappraisal of the men’s collection, although 75% of the student still design women’s fashion.

The men’s collections were accessible and distinctive, from Bettie Boersma’s boyish collection to Iris Terol’s royal garments. Angela Bouwer’s collection was comfortable with its warm use of materials and cut, while Ynchomar Dosset’s strength lies in the clear lines and tightly cut jackets in army green and business navy blue. Sanne van der Wal’s men’s collection showed gorgeous colour combinations and grand, detailed tops.

Aniel Algoe’s women’s collection was striking wih its heavy wools and organza, combined with glowing and graceful gold details. With sculptural forms and perfectly staged creases Algoe created “The New Ethnic Dutch”, a collection fusing the Dutch national attire with its Calvinistic undertones and the Oriental idea that clothing is an extension of the body.

Wenda Harmsen first highlighted the absurdity of footwear with a heel which seems to disappear into the ground and a toe cap which reaches upward instead forward. It formed a facinating spectacle with the models’ no-nonsense attitude – hands deep in the pockets – and exceptional combination of materials with warm checkered fabrics, crude braiding and rubber coating.

Anbasja Blanken’s “The Shakhinah Glory” took the mystical light as its point of departure: “I introduce the arrival of women from the enlightened kingdom, those who refer to the highest state of holiness, those who enlighten the path through their veils, those who have the power to lead humanity to a higher state of awareness.”  The silhouettes were characterized by a high waist, tight vests with sculptural circles and pants with wide flares.

For the third year in line, the event took place in the industrial hall Zijdebalen, where the graduation projects of the other HKU departments were presented as well. The students of Fashion Communication, for instance, showed their works which often focused on social awareness and seeing the extraordinary in daily life.

The graduation show is part of HKU Exposure which comprises all of the graduation works of HKU. The collections and projects of HKU fashion can be viewed during the graduation exhibition on 27-30 June and on eindwerk.hku.nl

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Photos: Peter Stigter

Source: www.blendbureau.com