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Pushing your limits – the AMFI Honours programme

The Honours programme offers a selected group of talented Fashion & Design students the opportunity to spend a short but intensive period deepening and strengthening their fashion vision, stylistic signature and personal motivation. The end result is a small high quality collection of three outfits, which are shown during a catwalk show.  Last Summer was the 12th edition of the AMFI Honours programme. Twelve students were coached by Frans Ankoné, Martine Heinen , Saskia Stockler, Sjoukje Bierma and Peter Leferink. The catwalk show took place on August 29th in Undercurrent.

Honours programme students go through their own growth process. “During the programme I got the chance to experiment and develop my own handwriting. You learn more about your strengths and weaknesses and continuously challenge yourself, so in the end you can alter your weaknesses into strengths” says Design student Charlotte Bakkenes.

Collection Charlotte Bakkenes- photo by Team Peter Stigter

Collection Charlotte Bakkenes- photo by Team Peter Stigter

Students receive coaching from specialists in the fashion industry who help them research the ‘Zeitgeist’, fashion and its history, define a research question, set aims and design a variety of solutions; to name only a few parts of the content. What Charlotte found most special about the programme was working together with Bakri Shoukeh, a successful pleating specialist from Syria who came to Holland two years ago. “During the course we got offered inspirational lectures and workshops, among one of Bakri. After the workshop I immediately contacted him and I ended up working with him closely for several weeks to realise a pleated train. He showed me how he made paper patterns by hand and then pleat the fabrics in between, a method that is still executed in Paris by Dior and Chanel. It was incredibly inspirational to see someone being so dedicated and full of love for his profession. “

Pleated train dress created with old pleating technique- photo by Team Peter Stigter

Pleated train dress created with old pleating technique- photo by Team Peter Stigter

During the programme students visit multiple exhibitions and also travel to Paris. “I thought Paris was amazing. You see and you learn about  ‘real’ fashion. Watching the shows gives you a lot of inspiration – as well as looking at the crowds. Besides learning a lot I also had a lot of fun because of the way we sneaked into the shows. The whole trip was a huge motivation to work really hard on my own collection afterwards.

Asking Charlotte if the programme is what she expected and hoped it would be, she answered: “Time has flown by. I expected a heavy-duty course and had my doubts about giving up my summer holiday, but I don’t regret a single minute of it! The Honours programme was a chance to see how far I can push my limits and make ultimate use of what I was offered. I learned so much!


Text by Carly Hubregtse.

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