Dutch fashion designer Yamuna Forzani has been named the winner of the Dutch Design Awards in the fashion category. Forzani is an alumna of The Hague Royal Academy of Art (KABK), artistic director, fashion designer and a member of the Dutch ballroom scene. She won the award for her concept of The Utopia Ball x Fashion Show: an amalgamation of a fashion show and a ballroom competition.
Forzani came up with the concept for The Utopia Ball x Fashion Show in 2018 for and with members of the trans and queer community and subsequently developed it into a platform for fashion talent in and about this community. In 2021, the first Utopia Ball was held at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, as part of the city's Pride celebrations.
"With Utopia Ball, Forzani touches on the essence of fashion"
Forzani was nominated for the Dutch Design Award because of the special space she manages to create with The Utopia Ball x Fashion Show, the jury of the Dutch Design Awards said in a statement. "Yamuna Forzani designs events and experiences where people who are excluded in many other places feel at home and can exhibit their talent," they wrote in a press release when the nominations were announced. "With Utopia Ball, Yamuna Forzani takes ballroom out of its niche and connects with a wider audience, touching on the essence of fashion as empowerment."
In the final report, the jury called The Utopia Ball "a guiding example of what fashion can and should be now. Forzani goes beyond garments and the classic runway in her design process. In doing so, form and content are already well balanced, which makes one curious about her next steps," the Fashion jury concluded.
In addition to Forzani, the jury had nominated the Dutch designers Antoine Peters and David Laport. Peters was nominated with his project Space Garments, a series of installations created between garment, sculpture and landscape. Laport was nominated for his collection Local Vegetation, a poetic collection based on plants.
The awards were presented last Thursday, October 27, in Eindhoven during Dutch Design Week. The jury of the fashion category consisted of Iris Ruisch, Marga Weimans, Mehtap Gungormez, Branko Popovic and Rachid Naas. Prizes were also awarded in the product, habitat, communication, design research, data and interaction, commissioning and young design categories.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.NL and has been translated and edited into English by Veerle Versteeg.