We continue our stay in the beautiful city of Antwerp - after the latest A Magazine - where about a month ago the second 'Dries van Noten Inspirations' exhibition opened for the public in the MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp. Last summer we wrote about the first Dries van Noten Inspirations exhibition in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and in February a new extraordinary peek in the mind of the Antwerp Six designer was completed in his hometown. In similar fashion as in Paris, Dries Van Noten takes the spectator on a new intimate journey into his artistic universe, revealing the singularity of his creative process which he illustrates with his various and numerous sources of inspiration captured in themes. One receives an eye opening experience into the creative space within van Noten’s mind - through photographs, videos, film clips, musical references, as well as artworks by renowned artists that have triggered the designer’s imagination throughout his life and career. The new exhibition shows some of the old themes from Paris, but feels like an all new exhibition, with a little more focus as the exhibition space is a little smaller - making it possibly an even more impressive fashion exhibition than our favorite of last year. [ Continue reading ]
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At the MoMu – Fashion Museum in Antwerp
The MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp is among our favorite museums period (for more than one reason) yet their latest extraordinary exhibition named ‘Game Changers – Reinventing the 20th century silhouette’ might very well be their greatest creation until date. The exhibition looks at the groundbreaking work of fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga and forms a special passion project of the museum's curator Karen van Godtsenhoven, in a collaboration with Balenciaga expert Miren Arzalluz. The innovations of the Spanish designer in the middle of the 20th century created a radically new silhouette, in which the body got freedom of movement and architectural volumes created a space around the body. Along with the pioneers of haute couture in the 1920s and 1930s and later on also the (Japanese) designers of the 1980s and 1990s, Balenciaga provided an alternative for the prevailing constrictive hourglass silhouette, being an elementary frontrunner in pushing the aesthetic enveloppe and inspiring the world to rethink certain prevailing paradigms. Balenciaga and those who stepped into his footsteps, all Game Changers within their personal context looked at fashion of the 20th century from a new perspective shaking up the status quo. Very different than for instance the way more eclectic 'Dries van Noten Inspirations' exhibition, the scenography created for the new remarkable curation of fashion history is minimal, letting the different themes speak for itself — making the exhibition an extraordinary captivating overview of some of the most iconic avant-garde moments in modern female fashion. When in Antwerp before the 18th of August this exhibition is a must visit! [ Continue reading ]
by Walter van Beirendonck at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam
Last Thursday, we were finally able to see the extraordinary 'POWERMASK' exhibition at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam. Curated by none other than Walter van Beirendonck, sided by art historian Alexandra van Dongen and anthropologist Sonja Wijs, it had been on our wish list from September 1st when it opened for the public. For 'POWERMASK', the museum with a focus on ethnology gave the legendary Antwerp fashion designer a free hand to present his own unique, multi-faceted vision of the phenomenon of masks. The result is a stunning colorful display, carrying the designer's unique signature all-over, combining ethnic masks and ethnological documents with modern Western fashion, art, photography and culture — featuring the work of impressive names like Christophe Coppens, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Brian Kenny, Martin Margiela and Walter's own Dirk Van Saene.
The exhibition is both a feast for the senses and proof how relevant van Beirendonck's vision remains to this very day. He might have found a more niche position as a fashion designer (and a more invisible role as Head of Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), the exhibition, although much smaller, feels like an echo of his iconic Antwerp exhibition 'Landed/Geland' from 2001, which at that time set a new standard for fashion exhibition in terms of presenting pieces within its societal context, but still succeeding to convince aesthetically and therewith speaking to spectators in more than one way. With 'POWERMASK' van Beirendonck underlines, now more than ever, that we need powerful artistic voices like his to remind us of the unique beauty of all cultures on this planet and how exchange between them is what makes life interesting.
When in Rotterdam before the 7th of January don't miss out on this incredible exhibition! [ Continue reading ]
at MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp
Last week, we once again had the privilege to witness another highly anticipated (a little more than any other we have seen before) exhibition opening at our favorite museum in Antwerp: the MoMu Fashion Museum. In the new exhibition, for the first time ever, the museum focusses on genius Martin Margiela’s often forgotten Hermès collections that he created from 1997 to 2003. The exhibition also touches beyond his extraordinary work for the Parisian house and furthermore showcases the relationship between these collections and the complete vision he created with Maison Martin Margiela.
Groundbreaking deconstruction and timeless luxury –two worlds that Martin Margiela made his own– therefore are the starting point of the exhibition named 'Margiela, The Hermès Years', uniquely displayed in a "split-vision" Hermès orange/Margiela White scenography, designed by the museum's regular collaborator, but more importantly also Margiela's former trusted scenographer: Bob Verhelst. For anyone looking for a razor sharp yet very emotional insight into where many of today's ideas about fashion and modern luxury still find their core inspiration, we can only urge to travel to Antwerp before the end of August, as this extraordinary exhibition clearly showcases the work of an unparalleled visionary in what for us is already among the best exhibitions of the year. [ Continue reading ]
For the just released 12th issue of Journal de Nîmes we travelled to Antwerp to speak with retail pioneer and well-respected figure within the fashion industry: Geert Bruloot. The curator of the current shoe exhibition in the ever-inspiring MoMu has played a pinnacle role in the road to stardom of the infamous Antwerp Six, which he sold before any one else at the avant-garde designer store Louis and exclusive footwear boutique Coccodrillo. On that rainy wednesdayafternoon we sat down with him and talked about the main theme of the issue 'new vintage', the importance of the experience in a fashion store and the need for rebellion in these times of homogeneity.
— As published in Journal de Nîmes No 12 — [ Continue reading ]