Homage to Ann Salens

Multicoloured knitted evening dresses by Ann Salens

Multicoloured knitted evening dresses in silk, Ann Salens, 1974-75. MoMu Collection T07/75A, T07/201, T07/75, T01/176. Photo by Frederik Vercruysse.

Although Antwerp enjoys the title of city of fashion in so many respects, people are not always aware of Antwerp’s connection with knitwear.

To introduce this new exhibition, MoMu has selected three Antwerp designers who have a special bond with knitwear. The installations can be seen as an homage to Ann Salens, the internationally renowned Antwerp designer from the 1970s, who won acclaim for her colourful crocheted ‘bird of paradise dresses’, worn amongst others, by singer Ann Christy. Salens also created knit dresses that hug the shape of the body in a characteristic style.

Hilde Frunt & SIGI, the first designers to pay homage to Ann Salens, are mother and son who share a passion for knitwear. As a contemporary of Ann Salens during the 1970s, Hilde Frunt had her own shop on the Wolstraat in Antwerp, adjacent to that of Ann Salens. For this exhibition, Hilde Frunt and Sigi developed a ‘knitted living room’ setting, which emphasizes the intimate family atmosphere in which they both create knitwear. The installation is made up of three silhouettes and a range of interior items covered in their own particular style of knitwear.

Last to contribute is Christian Wijnants, who graduated in 2000 from the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. He already has 14 collections to his credit, each of which is in part made up of knitwear. He moreover passes on his passion for knitting to his students at the Antwerp Fashion Department, in his own specialty subject of knitwear. For this installation, Christian Wijnants made three mini-dresses in knitwear, employing an exceptional procedure that includes this favourite experiment: tie-dying knits.

  • Diana Brees-Hieke

    I, Diana Brees-Hieke, was an Ann Salens girl. I worked in her nice shop and on the catstage. That was in 1976, I was very happy then. Than k you Ann.