Fashion has long been used to make political statements and a dress co-made by Dutch designer Mattijs van Bergen and artist Oeri van Woezik has done exactly that! In honour of this year’s EuroPride celebration, transgender model Valentijn De Hingh posed for photographer Pieter Henket in a stunning dress that has many talking due to it’s powerful statement.
In the image that has been doing the rounds, De Hingh stands before Rembrandt’s famous painting “The night watch”, dressed in Bergen and Woezik’s multi-coloured dress fashioned from the flags of the 72 countries where homosexuality is still illegal.
Bergen and Woezik joined forces with the LGBTI organisation COC deciding to create the dress as a visualisation of how much work there is still left to be done by organisations such as COC. It was then that photographer Pieter Henket was called in to take the breathtaking portrait of Valentijn De Hingh who was the first transgender model to sign with IMG models and also EuroPide’s first transgender ambassador.
According to the photographer, the idea for the dress came about during the preparation for this year’s EuroPride in Amsterdam where the same 72 flags were displayed during the opening parade to represent the work that still has to be done to ensure that LGBTI people can live safely without fear of persecution and discrimination.
During the opening walk of euro pride in Amsterdam 2 weeks ago, 72 flags of 72 different countries where homosexuality is against the law were present, in 12 of these countries you still get the death penalty for being gay. the COC (Dutch organization for LGBT men and women) collected these flags and together with Fashion designer Matthijs van Bergen and artist Oeri van Woezik they decided to make these flags into a giant rainbow dress. That’s when the idea started. I then was asked to come on board to create a image. And where best to do that then in front of one of the most beautiful paintings in the world “the night watch” by Rembrandt in “Het Rijksmuseum” Roger and I decided Monday morning to fly out that same night to holland to do this project that in many ways is very close to our harts. Everyone spend a crazy 4 days of pre and post production but we did it and we delivered. I am more then proud to present the beautiful Valentijn de Hingh in the Rainbow dress in the Honor gallery of “Het Rijksmuseum” Thank you Arnoud van Krimpen, Jochem Kaan and everyone that made this all possible in such a short period of time. Thank you Happy pride everyone! Let there be Love! #rijksmuseum #nachtwacht #nightwatch #coc #valentijndehingh #pieterhenket
De Hingh also shared the portrait on her own Instagram account saying, “Every country that changes its legislation will have its flag replaced by a rainbow flag. Let’s hope this dress will represent a patchwork of rainbows sooner rather than later!”
Check out the video below to see it all of come together