Exhibition

Joyeux Anniversaire from Jean Paul Gaultier

From MoMu's catalogue 'Fashion/Antwerp/Academy/50' published by Lannoo

From MoMu’s catalogue ‘Fashion/Antwerp/Academy/50′ published by Lannoo

The presence of Jean Paul Gaultier among the jury of the Golden Spindle in 1983 gave this bygone competition an international aura, and his admiration for the talent he saw gave national fashion a tremendous confidence boost.

For the catalogue ‘Fashion Antwerp Academy 50′ published by Lannoo on the occasion of the Happy Birthday Dear Academie exhibition, Gaultier shares his memories in the preface of the catalogue.

Invitation Gondle Spindle Contest 1983, © MoMu Archives

Invitation Golden Spindle Contest 1983, © MoMu Archives

‘The first time I ever visited Antwerp was for the Canette d’Or, the Golden Spindle contest in 1983. I knew of the Antwerp Academy’s reputation because Linda Loppa, who had her own shop and was a customer of mine, headed the Fashion Department of the Academy at the time. When I arrived in the city, I discovered the importance of fashion and architecture – the Art Nouveau, the many beautiful stores, and the sense of fashion. So Fab!

I was shocked. It was something I truly didn’t expect. When I saw the student show I was so impressed with the quality, the professionalism. Each student could have had their own show in Paris – for me, that’s a big compliment. We went to see the Golden Spindle collect installations, and I was amazed that the designers did not only give attention to the clothes – each collection told an interesting story -, but also to merchandising, the presentation. I realized that everything was in balance, everything was complete! I myself hadn’t gone to school; I didn’t know that you could even learn all that!

So, to the Fashion Department of the Academy on its 50th birthday, I say Joyeux Anniversaire! All the designers I know have succeeded to develop their own personal style, and they prove that creativity is the only path to follow – even in periods of crisis. Bravo to them! – Jean Paul Gaultier’