Dirk Van Saene and trompe l’oeil

Petite and Heidi jumpers by Dirk Van Saene

Following the purchase by the MoMu’s collection department of Petite and Heidi, two turtle-neck woollen jumpers from the Autumn/Winter 2008/2009 collection by Dirk Van Saene, the museum curators have carefully chosen the two pieces to integrate one of the sections of Unravel. Knitwear in Fashion.

It is not the first time that MoMu curators feature Van Saene’s pieces within an exhibition show. The Belgian designer had his creations in the spot previously, for instance, in the Black. Masters of Black in Fashion & Costume exhibition, where there were three beautifully tailored black dresses with exaggerated embellishment on display.

For Unravel. Knitwear in Fashion, Petite and Heidi by Dirk Van Saene, explore the concept of the trompe l’oeil, an optical three dimensional technique extensively used in art and very much enhanced in fashion design by the Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, whose knitted jumpers are also featured in the exhibition.

Once Van Saene said, …in my eyes there is nothing new in fashion!. Perhaps his statement is very pertinent as the Petite and Heidi knitted jumpers with black and white motifs suggest a reference to Schiaparelli’s designs with trompe l’oeil motifs. Dirk Van Saene produces a contemporary interpretation of such a technique, certainly evoking Schiaparelli’s connections with surrealist aesthetics through the use of trompe l’oeil.

MoMu visitors to Unravel. Knitwear in Fashion, should be able to confront with the issues related to trompe l’oeil in fashion design, by appreciating Van Saene’s two knitted jumpers, which are placed within the 1920′s knitwear section of the exhibition.