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1863: A TRIBUTE TO FREEDOM | MUSEUM VAN LOON

1863: A TRIBUTE TO FREEDOM | MUSEUM VAN LOON

Marcus Elizabeth's graduation collection from Academy Artemis in Amsterdam was a powerful statement of his black heritage and support for the black activism movement. The collection was titled "1863" as a tribute to the year slavery was abolished in Surinam and the Antilles, symbolizing the liberation of thousands who were once enslaved on the plantations.

The collection also features the story of Virginia Dementricia, a rebellious enslaved woman who would steal her master's clothing and wear them in secret. This inspiring story is woven throughout the collection.

The centrepiece of the collection is an open-back shirt featuring the trademarked Guardian pattern of Marcus Elizabeth for the first time. This unique pattern is inspired by Marcus's grandmother, Selma. The open-back design represents the strength of women, while the Guardian pattern adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the garment.

This collection remains one of Marcus's most significant accomplishments to date and was a pivotal moment in his journey as a designer, earning him honours upon graduation. 

"It is a great honour to have the opportunity to showcase the story of Virginia Dementricia, an enslaved woman whose resilience and rebellion inspire us all. I am grateful to Museum Van Loon for shedding light on the hidden narratives behind the opulent walls of the Museum (Van Loon's family house) and allowing us to visualize her journey. Through my collection, I aim to amplify her voice and pay homage to the darker stories that deserve to be heard." 

Marcus Elizabeth

THE TEAM

Designer and tailor of the collection: Marcus Elizabeth and Nicolai Egter van Wissekerke
Model: Chanelva Maclean
Photographer: Ingrid Polderman
Make-up and Hair artist: Naima Bremer
Assistant: Flavia Cibelle and Esmee Julia van der Molen
Location: Museum van Loon