The winning collection at the Global Denim Awards (GDA) in Amsterdam on Wednesday night stole the spotlight—literally.
The collection, by Dutch designer and former Viktor & Rolf intern Anbasja Blanken and ITV Denim, featured luminescent denim inspired by the sea. The collection was embellished with decadent fringe, laser cut prints, pearls, 3-D floral ornaments and embroidery woven with glow in the dark threads.
For the competition, Blanken and ITV took on the challenge to create denim pieces that could light themselves. “It was not easy but we found a way of putting the luminescence into our yarn,” said Barbara Gnutti, ITV Denim export manager.
“My concept was about the deep sea, and more specifically coral, the ‘flowers of the sea’. Some coral’s colors alternate when the light changes. It can even be luminescent,” said Blanken.
The event’s sponsor e3 Cotton awarded Blanken with a prize of 10,000 euros. The collection will be exhibited at Kingpins Shows in New York City and Hong Kong, before returning to Holland for Amsterdam Denim Days 2017.
GDA 2016 paired 11 emerging fashion designers with a selection of the most progressive denim mills to create collections that combined craftsmanship, original designs and denim innovation. Highlights included Prosperity’s collaboration with design duo Collect and their oversized outerwear with modular pockets and hoods, Knitdigo and designer Tess van Zalinge’s lingerie-inspired knit gown and Berto Industria Tessile and EdithMarcel’s modern take on 50s pin-up style.
The collections were judged by author of Denim Dudes Amy Leverton, the designer and stylist duo Art Comes First, trend forecaster Kelly Harrington and Alex Jaspers, the global sales director of Scotch & Soda.
GDA also honored mill Arvind with the Best Fabric Award. The Khadi fabrics used in designer Roosmarijn Koster’s collection of bomber jackets and tracksuits were 100 percent handspun and hand-woven in India. Koster used only two colors: natural cotton and indigo.
“To us as a jury, innovation is not only a way of creating new technologies, but it’s also looking back and realizing that if we lose the past, we’ll lose it forever,” said Leverton. “By conserving the past, we are nurturing the future. Arvind supports these villages and its inhabitants to continue creating this traditional denim. Economically that does not make sense. But from a sustainability point of view, it’s invaluable. That’s why the Fabric Award also goes to the mill’s community, not to Arvind alone.”