KALTBLUT presents: AMID CULTURES BY JESSICA ANTONIO
Photography by Loet Koreman. Models are Sharon Klomp and Robinson Koster signed at Max Models and Sophie van Rij. Fashion designer Jessica Antonio is a 23-year-old Portuguese native, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She has carried a passion for making clothes since her childhood. Whereas, at the age of 6 she was already sitting behind the sewing machine making dresses for her dolls with the help of her grandmother. After living in the Netherlands for seven years, Jessica started studying fashion design at the HKU (University of the Arts Utrecht), where she quickly attained an obvious interest for textiles. This is often the starting point of her unique collections, which reveal true passion for craftsmanship with a reference to nostalgic means. As from now the designer aims to create a positive impact in the fashion industry by manufacturing her work locally. At a later stage, production will partially take place at familiar factories in her home country, whereby means production is ethical. It might be challenging to prove a point and make a change, but not impossible. The designer’s dedication to fashion, willingness and strong personality allow her to conquer challenges and achieve set goals. No matter how difficult the creative field is Jessica believes hard work pays off, but it’s very important to never give up! Jessica’s latest collection ‘AMID CULTURES’ refers back to her Portuguese roots, which appear to clash with the Dutch social environment. – Hair by Wendy van Nielen. Make-up by Jackie-lou Bussing. Fashion by Jessica Antonio. Accessories by Eva Karkaletsi
“It was in 2006 when I left the south of Portugal to come live in the Netherlands. Throughout the years I’ve lived in various Dutch cities, met various people and yet after ten years have past I still do not feel home. As research supports, the Netherlands is identified as an individualistic country where most people have structured lifestyles and are much more independent. In comparison to a collectivist country, such as Portugal, people are extremely open and much more intimate with each other. Therefore, kissing ‘strangers’ and telling a ‘personal’ story to an acquaintance is not much more than simply normal.
Interestingly, I have integrated with the culture and rather changed as a person. I’ve attained a somewhat structured lifestyle, but also became rather reticent making me feel amid cultures. Although, I still consider Portugal my true home, I cherish the up-paced lifestyle in the Netherlands, which I have gotten used to and will not soon dismiss.
This is a personal topic of great importance to me. Therefore, as part of my graduation project I aim to design and create a collection with metaphorical meanings that merges these contrasting worlds together through textile manipulations, relaxed silhouettes and an harmonious color pallet. The presence of a relaxed atmosphere is essential for this collection to aspire comfort, what I seek in the Dutch culture.”
Handcraft, intimacy and austerity are primary words that worked as guidance factors through the development of this collection. Through textile and silhouette choices audience is faced with a great abundance of contrast in a much subtle manner. Importantly, one plays with the metaphorical meanings and appearance of used duvets and suiting fabric. Although these choices contradict, the goal is to create an harmonious aura by complementing other elements, such as fragments of smocked textiles, hand-crochet pieces, hand-knitted socks and other manually created details. Furthermore, in order to promote this feeling of harmony in a much stronger manner ‘AMID CULTURES’ collection consists of a cohesive color pallet of beige and pinks, which considered as neutral, calm, and relaxing tones.” says Jessica Antoni
Evidently, handmade quality plays an influencial role in the designer’s work. However, besides carrying a passion for handmade luxury, Jessica finds it important to bring this kind of quality back to the fashion industry, which is nowadays overruled by massa production and a vast society that chooses quantity over quality. Therefore, in order to support this fashion vision and complete this collection, a few collaborations take place with a selection of small businesses and organisations, such as Granny’s Finest and Sticks&Cups, whom developed handmade knitted socks. Nevertheless, another metaphor for warmth and harmony, which worn under clear perspex boots, manufactured in collaboration with fashion and footwear designer Naomi Hille, creates yet another interesting contrast.