Tess van Zalinge
Netherlands, choice of IYDC organizing committee 2020
During years of my study at Amsterdam Fashion Institute I learned about costume wear, heritage and its conscious mindset, it inspired me to share my vision as a designer. Craftsmanship, nature and heritage are the core of my aesthetic. I want to inspire, innovate and influence with my work.
For 4 years I worked as a freelance with different designers. In 2016 I launched my design label. Each piece from my collections is handcrafted in my beautiful Amsterdam atelier, where I constantly explore the potential for responsibility in fashion through fresh collaborations and inspiring partnerships. I have worked on multiple collaborations including Fashion for Good, Artis, WNF, Royal Delft, Circl, the Centraal Museum Utrecht and more. I keep working on sustaining my healthy atelier with a small solid team and keep on creating with a conscious mindset. I want to stay true to my freedom together with my creativity. Every year I launch one demi-couture collection. It makes me feel really proud. I also initiate fundraisings, auctions and projects for a good cause. That balance of giving back with inspiring items is my biggest achievement.
I had initiated quite a few exhibitions to get in touch with my audience. I also share my knowledge and experience with students at the art academies. Knowledge of sharing, business transparency and collaborations are the foundation for the future of fashion. Nowadays the boundaries between real and digital are blurred every day. I believe that crafts, combined with the digital world, will be increasingly appreciated and valued in fashion!
The inspiration for this collection is sparked from a dissatisfaction with the way the wedding industry currently operates, I felt the need to create awareness in this market, where the focus is on beauty for ‘one-day-only’. I have an urge to shake things up, to bring back the symbolism and the heritage of forgotten traditions to the contemporary market. This is why openness and conscious thinking are at the core of how I design. By upcycling vintage wedding dresses and using all other leftovers from weddings, the collection shows both the fashion and the bridal industry an innovative and inspiring alternative to the traditional approach to the wedding ceremony. This innovative form of upcycling shows a special amalgamation of tailor-made work, craftsmanship and a drive for innovation specialized in ‘doing good’. This collection, again, focuses on sustainability, unique craftsmanship and innovation.