To highlight the predicament of LGBTs living in places where being themselves may be illegal or even life-threatening, Dutch womenswear designer Mattijs van Bergen and artist Oeri van Woezik constructed a ‘rainbow dress’ made from the flags of 72 countries that outlaw homosexuality.

The flags were said to be collected by COC, a Dutch organisation for LGBT men and women. Van Bergen and Van Woezik then went to work to piece the flags together to form a giant dress.

Van Bergen described his creation as ‘a statement for equal rights and against homosexual prosecution.’

The dress was worn by transgender model Valentijn de Hingh in a photoshoot with photographer Pieter Henket.

Henket said that he chose to shoot the dress in front of one of the most beautiful paintings in the world, ‘The Night Watch’ by Rembrandt, inside the Het Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

De Hingh was EuroPride’s first transgender ambassador.

Modeling since 2008, the 26-year-old Amsterdam native had walked down the runway for major fashion houses such as Comme des Garçons and Maison Martin Margiela.

She is also the first transgender person to have ever been represented by IMG Models.

‘That little lady wearing the big dress is me,’ the model wrote on Instagram. ‘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.’

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