Behind the scenes, Collection, Exhibition

Shooting MoMu Now

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Photographing collection pieces for the upcoming ‘MoMu Now’ exhibition and publication happens at our own MoMu studio. It is a stressful but also a delightful adventure.

We photograph about 14 silhouettes a day and some accessories. Sometimes silhouettes look really good in our studio but once the unmerciful photographer’s lense is directed at them, you see on the picture all the tiny folds and creases and things that are wrong, that you didn’t see before. So even though you’re well prepared there’s always extra work once it’s in front of the camera. Since the ‘model’, the mannequin or buste cannot move it can be a lot of effort to try and give her some natural grace and movement.

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4 people are busy adjusting and dressing silhouettes, and the photographer gives directions, just like on an editorial fashion shoot. And although the model doesn’t grow tired, we all do. Some dolls have outfit changes and some shoes still need to arrive on the day so it’s really a work in progress.

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This time we were very happy to be able to photograph all our newest acquiqitions, because we know them very well but normally have to wait for years before we can show them. Many Belgian fashion highlights such as Dries Van Noten, Raf Simons, Olivier Theyskens, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, A.F. Vandevorst and Veronique Branquinho and many others were part of this shoot. You can really feel in the amount of detail and perfection that the Belgians are very strong both artistically and technically.

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And, even though Haider Ackermann, Bernhard Willhelm and Peter Pilotto weren’t born in Belgium, they went to the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, so we count them in with our Belgian designers, as their strong artistic signature, eye for detail and technical mastery is surely something they share with the other designers in the MoMu collection.

Library

MoMu Library is back and running!

MoMu Library, (c) MoMu Antwerp, photo: Yves Henckaerts

MoMu Library, (c) MoMu Antwerp, photo: Yves Henckaerts

With the summer holidays behind us, the MoMu library is back up and running! Making an appointment is no longer needed.

The library will be open on:
Wednesday 10AM – 12AM and 1PM – 4.45PM
Thursday 1PM – 16.45PM and 6PM – 8PM
Friday 1PM – 4.45PM
Saturday 10AM – 1PM (every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month)

Exhibition

Birds of Paradise exhibition guestbook

Guestbook of the Birds of Paradise exhibition at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Danique Klijs

Guestbook of the Birds of Paradise exhibition at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Danique Klijs

As with all our exhibitions, our visitors are invited to leave their comments in a guestbook. The ideal tool for visitors to express their opinion in a short and often anonymous way.

We have rounded up a selection of the best comments of our Birds of Paradise expo for you to enjoy!

Amazing feathers in Birds of Paradise guestbook

Amazing feathers in Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from Finland in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from Finland in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from California in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from California in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Birds of Paradise guestbook

Birds of Paradise guestbook

Feathered wish in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Feathered wish in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from Bunka Fashion School in Japan

Greetings from Bunka Fashion School in Japan

Excerpt from the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Excerpt from the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Excerpt from the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Excerpt from the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Goosebumps in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Goosebumps in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from Thailand in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Greetings from Thailand in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Ode to Alexander McQueen in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Ode to Alexander McQueen in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Mirror writing in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Mirror writing in the Birds of Paradise guestbook

Selection and compilation by Danique Klijs.

Exhibition

Sorry, we’re closed

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The MoMu exhibition space will be closed for the public from August 25th until September 25th. We will be back starting from September 25th with the expo ‘MOMU NOW: Recent acquisitions from the MoMu Collection’.

Here is some impressions from the demantling of the ‘Birds of Paradise’ exhibition!

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Exhibition, Press&PR

Winners Birds of Paradise drawing contest

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During this summer we received lots of entries for the Birds of Paradise children’s drawing contest.
We asked them to choose your favourite bird from the templates designed by Antwerp-based designer Minju Kim and compose the color scheme of its feathers.

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Thanks to everyone who participated to the contest! The winners are Willem Brosens (9 years) and Merel Hofman (11 years). They will receive a MoMu goodie bag and special present!

Exhibition

Ann Demeulemeester on feathers, fashion & freedom

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010, rooster feather headdress, MoMu collection, Inv. no. T90/223 at the Birds of Paradise expo in MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010, rooster feather headdress, MoMu collection, Inv. no. T90/223 at the Birds of Paradise expo in MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

MoMu asked the Antwerp designer Ann Demeulemeester to select a series of silhouettes for the Birds of Paradise expo that highlight her use of feathers in different ways. Feathers, and especially pigeon feathers are part of Ann Demeulemeester’s signature and her world. They stand for freedom, humbleness and poetry.

Ann Demeulemeester S/S 1992. Kirsten Owen modeling a bustier made of dove feathers at the 1st Ann Demeulemeester catwalk show in Paris. Photo: Marleen Daniëls

Ann Demeulemeester S/S 1992. Kirsten Owen modeling a bustier made of dove feathers at the 1st Ann Demeulemeester catwalk show in Paris. Photo: Marleen Daniëls

Have feathers always played an important role in your life and in your work?
Yes, since childhood, I have had a great respect for feathers, particularly dove feathers. For me, a dove feather represents the poetry of the ordinary: a sort of perfection that anyone can randomly find on the street. The first time I saw my husband, Patrick Robyn, he was wearing a black blazer with a small grey dove feather in his breast pocket. I noticed it immediately. For me, that was so very attractive, and it never changed: still today, he always wears a small dove feather. If I had to give this an absolute meaning, I would say that a feather is a symbol of freedom, a free spirit – the greatest luxury in life. For my first fashion show in Paris, for the 1992 spring/sumer collection, I placed on each chair a leather string holding some dove feathers. A small metal plate with my name was attached to it. Some people still have this little chain – and it has been more than twenty years! I still have mine too; it is a sort of talisman.

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010. Feather headdresses with dove and cock feathers. PHOTO: BVBA32

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010. Feather headdresses with dove and cock feathers. PHOTO: BVBA32

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010. Feather headdresses with dove and cock feathers. PHOTO: BVBA32

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2009-2010. Feather headdresses with dove and cock feathers. PHOTO: BVBA32

Why dove feathers in particular? How do you decide which feathers you want to use for which piece?
I find dove feathers more attractive because they combine fragility, simplicity, and poetry. We humans can make so many beautiful things; however, we cannot compete with the perfection of such a feather. For my collection, I primarily choose rooster, dove, or duck feathers: simple, humble feathers. Sometimes I have them painted. Plumes are an integrated element in the creation of a collection. We do not decide at the end which feather will match the piece. Sometimes, I use a feather to add balance to a piece, because a feather adds tenderness to a harder image. The contrast between hard and soft gives my collections an overall sensibility. A collection never entails a one-sided romantic or hard feel – it must always have a soul; that is where feathers are so meaningful. The choice of a type of feather depends on the effect I want to obtain. Sometimes, I paint a dove and a rooster feather in the same colour; this highlights the differences between the two types of plumes. A dove feather remains matte and somewhat grey with shades of red; the feather only absorbs part of the paint. A rooster feather is gleaming; colours are deeper with more black.

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2011-2012. Silhouette with painted duck feathers pictured as ammunition in an ammunition holder. PHOTO: BVBA32

Ann Demeulemeester A/W 2011-2012. Silhouette with painted duck feathers pictured as ammunition in an ammunition holder. PHOTO: BVBA32

You have immense respect for birds and feathers. How do you combine this respect with the processing of each piece?
Whether for feathers or for any other animal material such as fur or leather, I only use natural materials when I can do no harm. In other words, I only use skins of animals (goats, sheep, etc.) that are already used for meat consumption. I use the same principle for feathers: they are residues from the poultry farmer; I do not have birds plucked. For feathers, it is the same as for other animal skins: we have reached a very high level with fake fur, mostly visual, but the sense of real fur cannot be recreated with artificial material. In a fur coat you are never too hot or too cold; this material breathes and lives. We cannot perfect nature.

Europeana fashion

Wikimania 2014 in London

Gabrielle de Pooter went to London to speak about MoMu’s experience with creating open access to its collections.  Photo: Gabrielle de Pooter. CC-BY-SA 2.0.

Gabrielle de Pooter went to London to speak about MoMu’s experience with creating open access to its collections. Photo: Gabrielle de Pooter. CC-BY-SA 2.0.

Last week, MoMu was represented at the annual Wikimedia conference at The Barbican in London. Wikimedia is dedicated to making knowledge and media freely available for everyone and therefore works closely with museums, like MoMu, asking them to make their collections available online so people can see, learn and get creative with the collections.

MoMu is strongly committed to giving people access to its collections online. The MoMu collection can be browsed via Open Fashion and there are 10.000s of MoMu objects in the online fashion portal Europeana Fashion. MoMu has also made first steps to make images of the collection available on Wikimedia so people can illustrate their fashion articles on Wikipedia.

Last year, MoMu organised an edit-a-thon, inviting people to use the images of the collection to write articles about fashion on Wikipedia. This edit-a-thon was one in a series of edit-a-thons at fashion institutions around Europe coordinated by Europeana Fashion. Organising this edit-a-thon and being part of Europeana Fashion is an on-going and instructive process for the museum to explore the best ways of opening up the collection online.

Preparing the panel. Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg. CC-BY 2.0. (link: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ter-burg/14858374004/in/set-72157645849424200/)

Preparing the panel. Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg. CC-BY 2.0. (link: https://secure.flickr.com/photos/ter-burg/14858374004/in/set-72157645849424200/)

Naturally, MoMu was glad to share and exchange its experiences with other museums and the Wikimedia community from all over the world during a panel especially dedicated to the topic of enhancing open access to digital fashion content. Other participants in the panel were representatives from the Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision, Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Wikimedia Sweden, Wikimedia Italy and Wikimedia Israel.

Event, Exhibition, Press&PR

Birds of Paradise closing event with Kate MccGwire

Cleave, mixed media with crow feathers, Kate McGwire, 2012, Photo: Tessa Angus.

Cleave, mixed media with crow feathers, Kate McGwire, 2012, Photo: Tessa Angus.

Especially for MoMu+Friends, the friends organization of our museum, we will be organizing an exclusive closing event of our Birds of Paradise. Plumes and Feathers in Fashion exhibition on Saturday 23 August.

During the event, MoMu+Friends members will receive a special tour by renowned British artist Kate MccGwire whose work is on display in the exhibition. The feathered silhouettes of the exhibition interspersed with the artist’s beautiful and haunting pieces provide a captivating backdrop for a personal tour by the artist during which she will talk about her work. For more information on Kate MccGwire’s work, see this post. The event is also a last chance to see the exhibition with a regular guide for those who did not yet see the exhibition or for anyone who wants so see it again!

Kate MccGwire from MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp on Vimeo.

Click here for more information on how to join! MoMu+Friends get access to exclusive events like these and more.

Event, Exhibition

Frame Me at Musemnight 2014

Cardboard fans for Museumnight 2014 at MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp

Cardboard fans for Museumnight 2014 at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp

Discover your inner Zizi Jeanmaire with these two cardboard fans from the Birds of Paradise expo during MuseumNight this Saturday at MoMu and get your picture taken with the feather fans at the FrameMe photo boot!
All pictures will be posted on the MoMu Facebook page!

Collection, Event

MoMu 10 by Michaël Smits

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For the 10th anniversary of Museumnacht tomorrow, MoMu selected 10 silhouettes of designers that play a significant role in the museum collection. Antwerp photographer and artist Michaël Smits was asked to create a digital interpretation of these silhouettes, featuring silhouettes by Veronique Branquinho, Peter Pilotto, Rochas by Olivier Theyskens, Haider Ackermann, Christian Wijnants, Bernhard Willhelm, Raf Simons, Bruno Pieters, Minju Kim and A.F. Vandevorst!