• Sunanda Koning / Master of Fashion Design / arnhem

‘In death, in the memory of others, we are usually more fun, better, and more beautiful than we were in real life. My graduation collection, “Kū”, is a study of transitions. A celebration of life and death, and the stories we leave behind when we’re gone. The beauty of our existence perhaps lies in its transient and fragile nature. During my research, I encountered the book “Heavenly Bodies” by Paul Koudounaris, who took photographs of “saints”: skeletons from Roman catacombs, richly decorated by monks and nuns and placed in churches to serve as examples worthy of emulation for the churchgoers. Everlasting value in the face of impermanence.


My collection reflects my search for transitions within the silhouettes—large shrouds or kingly caftans—in fabrics, colours and materials. For example, I combine expensive, luxurious (and perhaps somewhat boring) llama wool into a cheap but spectacular-looking plastic; I use matching shades of red wool which, with embroidered plastic sequins, seems to flow over into a reddish lurex. Through careful crafting, I have also turned waste material into a new kind of jewellery; have melted PET bottles to turn them into flowers; and have made plastic straws look like luxuriously embroidered beads. Through craftsmanship, a “labour of love”, they have been given new life, value, and meaning.’


Sunanda Koning graduated in 2010 from the ArtEZ Bachelor of Fashion Design. She then did an internship at Vlisco, and travelled and worked as a freelance designer and photographer. In 2012, she started the Master of Fashion Design.


The ArtEZ Fashion Show, in which Fashion Design graduation candidates (Bachelor’s and Master’s) showcase their graduation collections, will be held on 5 June in Arnhem. The show marks the start of the Arnhem Fashion Festival. Reserve your tickets in time. For more information, visit www.artez.nl/finals.