Have you heard? There’s a new fashion capital making a name for itself thanks to the leading edge ideas, designers, and influential figures shaking up the industry.
Don’t be fooled – the textile tradition is not new in Antwerp. Antwerp has a long history with textiles: the river port city dominated the European wool trade in the fourteenth century, and there were several wholesale garment workshops here into the twentieth century. However, the textile sector began to decline. Then, in the late 1980s, a group of young designers known as the ‘Antwerp Six’ decided to revisit their heritage and bring it right up to date.
In 1988, the Six took their collections to the London Fashion Fair, and since then the names of Dries van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter van Beirendonck and Marina Yee have been recognised as members of the exclusive club at the cutting edge of the fashion scene. Suddenly, this small corner of Flanders became a pilgrimage site for fashion enthusiasts and buyers looking for the freshest style and creativity that Europe had to offer.
The launch of a School of Fashion at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts coincided with the emergence of the Six, and the ranks of local designers quickly multiplied to the point where fashion today pervades the city.
Want to find out more? Luckily for all of us, Belgian publishers Lannoo have put together three titles that explore fashion from this new capital. They’d look perfect on your coffee table too.
Check them out below.
Brussels Touch explores the influence of Brussels on cntemporary Belgian fashion, from the ‘80s to today, with personal contributions form fashion and design heavyweights such as Jean-Paul Knott, Olivier Theyskens, Anthony Vaccarello, Marine Serre, Cédric Charlier, Annemie Verbeke, Jean-Paul Lespagnard, Ester Manas and many more.
In this timely book, three noted fashion historians, including Kaat Debo, director of the Mode Museum (Fashion Museum), aka MoMu, in Antwerp examine the global transformations in the fashion industry today, and identify the challenges for the future.
Written by Kaat Debo, this beautifully illustrated book presents the permanent collection of Antwerp’s renowned fashion museum (MoMu), and offers an overview of the most important protagonists of Belgian fashion from the 1970s to today.