Fashion Framing Photography – An homage to Robert Mapplethorpe by Raf Simons



American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989), founded his eponymous Foundation a few months before his death to protect his legacy, to further promote photography as a full-fledged art form, and to support scientific research into AIDS and HIV. Last year, the foundation contacted Raf Simons with the proposition of a collaboration. Very soon after, Simons paid a personal homage in his Spring/Summer 2017 collection to Mapplethorpe, one of the most influential and ground-breaking photographers of the 20th century. Simons studied his extensive oeuvre in the Mapplethorpe archives in New York City. He selected more than one hundred images, spanning artist portraits (Willem de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Alice Neel), iconic self-portraits, and abstract, sexualized images of flowers.


With a curatorial approach and instinct, Simons wanted to make Mapplethorpe’s oeuvre more accessible to an audience that might not frequent museums or art galleries. Simons introduced Mapplethorpe to his own world, that of men’s fashion. The collection reads as a Mapplethorpe exhibition, with photographs embedded in garments that hold a striking simplicity so as not to in order to not disturb or dominate the purity of Mapplethorpe’s images. Pants were made of shiny PVC, and the sweaters and shirts were oversize and designed to frame the pictures onto the wearer’s body. Fully crediting both creators, the clothing labels read: Raf Simons // Robert Mapplethorpe. MoMu is very pleased to welcome these silhouettes to its collection.


Summer School on Fashion Management

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Great news for anyone interested to master the ins and outs of fashion management! University of Antwerp is organizing a summer school from 28th August until 6th September in Antwerp and Paris! This summer school gives a comprehensive overview of the fashion industry (independent fashion designers and luxury brands) and their dynamics, with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and sustainability. This programme is a collaboration between three prestigious schools: University of Antwerp (UAntwerp), Antwerp Management School and Institut Français de la Mode (IFM). Professionals as well as (recently graduated) Master students, highly interested in or motivated to work in the fashion industry, with or without experience in the sector, from all over the world can apply for this summer school!

For more information, check out the website of the University of Antwerp!


Antwerp Museum Night and Cultural Market of Flanders paves the way for unseen talent!


Do you want a chance to exhibit your artwork? Today is your lucky day! Until May 1st, you can apply your artwork for a spot in the exhibition Ongezien #2. From textile art to performance to painting and illustration, any type of artwork is welcome!   A jury of Antwerp museum directors and managers will choose 50 works. Ongezien #2 will officially open on Museum Night on August 5th. From then on, the expo is free for everyone to enjoy until August 27th.

Sign up before May 1st by submitting a picture of your artwork and you might get the opportunity to share your work with an audience! Sign up here!



Antwerp Fashion in The Hague!

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Each year, the Belgian ambassador in The Hagueinvites a province to exhibit works of art in his office. This year, Antwerp is the lucky one to represent its cultural talents in the house of the ambassador and MoMu was more than willing to lend a fashion hand.

Inspired by our last exhibition Rik Wouters & the Private Utopia, the central hall of the residence now includes a scenic bench decorated with a design by Dirk Van Saene. The garden on the other hand has been transformed into a remarkable and surreal sanatorium thanks to A.F. Vandevorst. Within this safe environment, the installation conveys a sense of security within the Belgian haven. A place to shelter, heal and forgather. To top it all off, miniature dolls wearing the graduation silhouettes of the Antwerp six tell the story of how it all began for Antwerp fashion.



‘Te Gek?!’ at MoMu


foto details Nadine - Marine Yee

This year’s theme of the heritage day is ‘Care’: it’s a great theme because it speaks to MoMu’s core mission about taking care of cultural heritage, but also taking care of people. In this context, MoMu participated in the exhibition project of ‘Te Gek?!’, an organization which raises awareness about mental illness through cultural projects. Three museums participate in this exhibition, which brings together 23 couples consisting of artists from different disciplines and 23 people who have had to deal with psychotic episodes. The works in the three museums explore various aspects of healing, creative sensibility and collaboration.

One of the works featured on MoMu’s patio is the work of Nadine and Marina Yee, a designer who is a part of the Antwerp Six. The work of is inspired by a 17th century corset and features the drug prescriptions that were prescribed to Nadine to treat her illness. The fragility of the work captures the fragile state of mind of someone grappling with mental health issues. Nadine and Marina made the work together as an act of care for each other as well as a statement about the artistic merit and capacities of people under strain. The exhibition runs until May 16 and the works will be auctioned by Christie’s at Museum Dr. Guislain in Gent on May 18. More info on:


Happy Valentine’s Day!

It’s no wonder that the exhibition catalogue of ‘Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia’ is called ‘Lust for Life’. The love and intimicacy between Belgian painter Wouters and his wife and muse Nel Duerinckx is the central theme of the exhibition and the works on show. A lust for love and life runs through the works: from painting to sculpture and drawings, it is a neverending love story. Whether he paints or sculpts Nel in an exuberant mood or depicts her in daily tasks  or more pensive attitudes, there’s always the light in Nel’s eyes and spirit which inspires Rik. His work is inseparable from his love for Nel: there’s Nel and colours, everywhere.

Happy Valentine from MoMu!


“A Magazine Curated By”, the Research

N°D Olivier Theyskens

MoMu’s library collection aims to help those who want to learn more about fashion. Researchers find their way to the library and one of them is Saul Marcadent, a PhD candidate in Fashion design at Iuav University of Venice. Among his research interests, the relations between publishing, fashion and visual culture, with a special focus on small publishers and niche magazines.

This research deals with the reading, analysis and interpretation of magazines intended as places of production and devices of the imagery and while questioning their role in the creation of the material and immaterial identity of fashion.

N°C Hussein Chalayan

Although magazines represent a precious resource for fashion researchers, a fundamental tool for the development of editorial and exhibition projects, magazines studies still play a marginal role in research, a field of study that is less cultivated in spite of its relevant historical precedents. In this regard, a perfect example is the work that Roland Barthes carried out on two French magazines – “Elle” and “Jardin des modes” – within a precise timeframe, which resulted in the long essay published in 1967, “Système de la mode”.

Having restricted its scope, this research moves through four long-term issues related to niche magazine publishing – temporal dimension, magazine-city relationship, imagery, art direction as element of conjunction and a form of curating – and their modes of expression since the Nineties. Each topic is supported by a theoretical core as well as by a case study and it gives way to a series of editorial episodes. The preferred method is interdisciplinary – historical, sociological and semiological at the same time – and the approach, inductive.

N°A Dirk van Saene

Among the case studies, “A Magazine Curated By”. The recent essay “Anversa 2001. Editoria, mostre e immaginari della moda” – included in the book “Design e immaginario. Oggetti, immagini e visioni fra rappresentazione e progetto” (Il Poligrafo, 2016)– investigates the first issues of the magazine, published between 2001 and 2003, entitled by using letters in alphabetical order; “N°A”, “N°B”, “N°C” and “N°D”are assigned to the fashion designers Dirk van Saene, Bernard Willhelm, Hussein Chalayan and Olivier Theyskens.

N°B Bernard Willhelm

The essay deals with the themes of authorship and imagery by highlighting the distinctive features of the magazine: the difference between the roles of editor-in-chief, Gerdi Esch, and guest curator; advertising intended as part of the editorial project with the aim of a mutual enhancement advertiser-magazine; the fashion journal is an experimental workshop in the frame of the complexity of the festival “Mode 2001 Landed-Geland”, a cultural and political initiative that underlines the importance of Antwerp as city of fashion and especially as the voice of Flemish fashion in the international scene.

The case study is to be further developed through the analysis of the archive material regarding the first issues of “A Magazine” as well as with a double conversation with Gerdi Esch and Paul Boudens, editor and art director of the editorial experience.

Words by Saul Marcadent


Margiela. The Hermès Years

© HERMÈS Autumn/Winter 1998 image of the advertising campaign over-painted by Martin Margiela (Cape Cod watch designed by Henri d’Origny and double-tour strap bracelet created by Martin Margiela) - photo Thierry Le Goues - graphic design Jelle Jespers

© HERMÈS Autumn/Winter 1998 image of the advertising campaign over-painted by Martin Margiela (Cape Cod watch designed by Henri d’Origny and double-tour strap bracelet created by Martin Margiela) – photo Thierry Le Goues – graphic design Jelle Jespers


From 31 March 2017 to 27 August 2017, MoMu will open its newest expo Margiela. The Hermès Years! MoMu is displaying Belgian stylist Martin Margiela’s Hermès collections from 1997 to 2003 for the first time. As well as this, the tribute exhibition also explores the relationship during these years between these collections and his own label, Maison Martin Margiela. Groundbreaking deconstruction and timeless luxury – the two worlds of designer Martin Margiela – are the starting point of the exhibition ‘‘Margiela – The Hermès Years’’.

From 1997 to 2003, Margiela instilled his exhaustive and consistent vision of modern-day luxury into twelve consecutive Hermès collections. His sleek designs for the Hermès woman were all about comfort, timelessness and tactility, values that he shared with the house and that defined his vision of the Hermès woman associated with an understated style. The image he presented for Hermès surprised the press because of its unexpected direction. His sober and monochrome colour palette diverged from the typical brightly-coloured Hermès prints. Assisted by the outstanding craftsmanship of the Hermès studios, Margiela was able to distil his design and tailoring into sheer perfection, supported by extensive material research that not only enhanced the comfort of the wearer, but also introduced numerous innovations.

Margiela’s work for Hermès continues to influence the work of many contemporary designers. During Paris Fashion Week for autumn-winter 2016-2017, the international press described Martin Margiela – who retreated from the fashion world more than eight years ago – as the “true protagonist” of fashion week. High time to showcase some of his masterpieces with “Margiela – The Hermès Years” at MoMu.

Margiela. The Hermès Years 31/03/2017 > 27/08/2017


Act! Cut! Play!


ACT! CUT! PLAY! is a new interdisciplinary project that aims to bring the quality of fashion film to the next level by creating a prominent role for the performing arts (theater/dance maker). Three teams based of Dutch and Flemish theatermakers, designers and filmmakers are challenged  to jointly investigate the possibilities and limits of their disciplines within the genre of ‘fashion film’. Starting with the stories of theater/dance makers three short fashion films will be developed which will be showcased internationally in both the fashion, theater and art world.

Team 1: Suze Milius, Femke Huurdeman and Marie-Sophie Beinke
Team 2: Jelena Kostic, Leen Michiels and Schueller de Waal
Team 3: Studio Dennis Vanderbroeck, Daniel van Hauten and Emmanuel A. Ryngaert

MoMu presents the results on Thursday 9 February at DE Studio from 19h until 22h. The continuous film presentations are mixed with installations.

Act! Cut! Play! is a project by the Brakke Grond in collaboration with Fashionclash Festival and MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp.

Thursday 9 February 2017
from 19h until 22h

entrance is free and activities are continuous
RSVP through Facebook

DE Studio
Maarschalk Gerardstraat 4
2000 Antwerpen

Behind the scenes, Collection, Exhibition

Natan. The Dress – Documentary

In 2016, Belgian fashion house Natan gifted MoMu a couture creation. As a result of this gift, the ModeMuseum has created a film documenting the entire design and manufacturing process of the dress. The film records the various stages of the creative process of the dress: from the early design idea, the first sketch and the various fittings in the studio to the photo shoot with the model. The film is supplemented by interviews with Kaat Debo (Director of MoMu), Christian Salez (Furthermore Ltd London and Executive Director at Natan) and Pierre Mallevays (Managing Partner at Savigny Partners LLP).

Presenting the creative process is a unique opportunity, considering the museum is usually only able to acquire and purchase end products for its collections. With this project, MoMu  not only wants to highlight the great craftsmanship of Edouard Vermeulen, designer and owner of the Natan house, but also to show a glimpse behind the scenes of the house and the professional skill of the team active in the Natan couture studio.

The film and exhibition were made possible with support from the Deutsche Bank.

Natan. The Dress until 26th February 2017 at MoMu Gallery (free entrance)