“FIFTEEN”, designer Tess van Zalinger, – the winning collection of IYDC 2020 online edition
Tess van Zalinge, a designer based in Amsterdam with a strong affinity to her own Dutch roots. Tess translates her conscious mindset both into her designs and values as a brand. Each piece from her collections is handcrafted in her beautiful Amsterdam atelier, where she constantly explores the potential for responsibility in fashion through fresh collaborations, inspiring partnerships and new demi-couture collections. Fine quality and longevity have been the prime focus for the label since its founding. Since then, Van Zalinge launches a demi-couture collection every year.
At International Young Designers Contest Tess van Zalinger presented her collection “Fifteen”, that sparked from her dissatisfaction with the way the wedding industry currently operates. Tess 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,”- mentioned Tess when she presented her collection for IYDC.
In its identity, the new collection plays with contrast and equivalence. Emotional and rational, warm and minimal, old but futuristic. Storytelling in a digital world where authenticity, rawness and the purity of design are cherished. What I am looking to create are timeless, visionary fashion collections with a strong social message. Taking up on the notion of the past-present-future, the initial pieces will tell the story of a ‘garment’ that is futuristic, sensitive but also authentic.
While in the past many fascinating stories and wedding traditions brought depth to the ceremony, they are now long forgotten. Wedding bouquets were used to symbolically protect the new marriage and consisted of grain, garlic and herbs. Dresses were used to cover the cradle for the first descendant. Pearls attached to the wedding gown used to be related to a controversial tradition: to take away the bride‘s tears and ensure a happy marriage without tears. Wedding dresses lived on by being passed on from mother to daughter. In early decades, the wedding dress used to be black, so it could be worn as an everyday wear dress after, and not just for a single use.
“Put off by today’s wedding scene, I want to make a change and inspire people to join us on a journey to re-discover traditions and make the wedding industry circular”, - said the IYDC 2020 Grand Prix winner, Tess van Zalinger.Photographer - Peter Stigter