Q&A with Olivier Theyskens!


On October 12th MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp opened its exhibition Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty. The exhibition takes you on a journey with one of the most fascinating Belgian designers: Olivier Theyskens. The show explores his creative evolution of twenty years in the fashion business, his craftsmanship and the changing atmospheres of his work through a multitude of silhouettes imbued with the couture spirit.

On the occasion of this exhibition Olivier Theyskens goes in conversation with Lydia Kamitsis and the audience on Tuesday November 14th in MAD (Brussels Fashion and Design Platform) on his parcours: from the dark romantic side of his early designs which brought him world fame, to the new vision of couture he instilled at Rochas, his mastering of textiles and cut at Nina Ricci, his American adventure with Theyskens’ Theory and the re-launch of his own brand Olivier Theyskens. After the Q&A, Olivier Theyskens will sign the exhibition’s catalogue, published by Lannoo.

More info & tickets here.


MoMu Gallery: MoMu Award 2017 winner Sanan Gasanov presents his MA collection!


Each year MoMu awards a prize to one of the graduating Master students of the Antwerp Fashion Department who will showcase their designs at the MoMu Gallery. The recipient of this year’s MoMu Award is Sanan Gasanov presenting his collection GRAND_MA – GRANDMA.

The silhouettes on display show both Gasanov’s admiration for the Grand Masters of Couture as well as the exploration of his own family heritage. Inspired by the fashion and home creations of his grandmother, he created a beautiful contemporary fashion collection full of typical ‘granny’ references like lace coverlets, table and pillow covers or porcelain cups. The pieces in the exhibition, accompanied by original drawings and sketches to give a complete overview of the creative process, become presented in a space entirely wrapped in plastic foil: frozen in time just like old memories.


On the occasion of the exhibition opening, MoMu is very happy to announce the MoMu Award 2017 + 10. Like Sanan Gasanov, MoMu looks back on parts of his own history: the history of the MoMu Award. 10 years, 10 Master students, 10 collections brought together in a series of online exhibits on the platform Google Arts & Culture.

The virtual exhibitions show the stories behind the awarded collections by presenting text and image material like photographs and pictures of the fashion show as well as drawings, sketches and the different inspiration sources. The overview of the MoMu Award displays a series of unique and multifarious creations, all demonstrating originality, a strong visual language and craftsmanship, as an impressive starting point of the students career and an important, long-standing part of MoMu’s own past.



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Op vrijdag 20 oktober is het Dag Van De Belgische Mode en MoMu viert mee! Online fashion-, beauty- & lifestylemagazine Belmodo roept iedereen op om zijn liefde voor Belgische mode te delen. Die dag zal het via sociale media helemaal in teken staan van de hashtag #dagvandebelgischemode.
Gekleed in jouw favoriete Belgische modelabel en/of ontwerpers-outfit, kan je vrijdag gratis onze tentoonstelling bezoeken van de Belgische ontwerper Olivier Theyskens!
“MoMu verzamelt, onderzoekt en presenteert al jaren met veel passie de unieke creaties van Belgische ontwerpers. De #dagvandebelgischemode ondersteunen wij op vrijdag 20 oktober 2017 met gratis toegang voor iedereen die een Belgisch kledingstuk aanheeft”, zegt MoMu-curator Elisa De Wyngaert. In de nieuwe tentoonstelling ontdek je het duistere en romantische universum van de Belgische ontwerper Olivier Theyskens. Van dinsdag 17 tot en met vrijdag 20 oktober 2017 worden ook andere Belgische modelabels extra in de verf gezet met verrassend beeldmateriaal op de MoMu Wall aan de ingang van het museum.”



Q&A with Walter Van Beirendonck at MoMu!


Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Join us for a Q&A with Walter Van Beirendonck! As the curator of the expo POWERMASK – The Power of Masks at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam, Walter Van Beirendonck will be interviewed by our MoMu director Kaat Debo where he will tell the audience more about this fascination for masks on October 27th. After the talk Walter will sign the catalogue of the expo edited by Marked / Uitgeverij Lannoo at Copyright Bookshop!

Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn

Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn



Details in the Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty


For Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty, MoMu joined forces with Glenn Sestig Architects who conceptualized the set design from scratch. Bernard Tournemenne from the Glenn Sestig team has been involved with Olivier Theyskens’ catwalk shows since  1997, so the exhibition is a beautiful celebration of the twenty years of collaboration between Olivier Theyskens and Glenn Sestig Architects.


Throughout the exhibition, you will find panels made out of enamel which is a cast iron panel baked repeatedly in 800 degrees Celsius. These panels were crafted by Emaillerie Belge, the last remaining enamel producing company in Benelux today. It was Olivier’s desire for MoMu to cover his entire story: the panels narrate his career like a ribbon swirling through the exhibition. They contain his sketches, images and literary quotes who accompany the atmosphere of his work.

Along with the panels, MoMu has also collaborated with Van Den Weghe, a high-end natural stone company. Details of the silhouettes are carved into the stones, adding an extra touch to our expo. After all, it’s all in the details.

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The wigs of Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty


With the opening of our Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty expo right around the corner, our MoMu team is now busy dressing all the mannequins and placing them in right spot in the exhibition.


The mannequins, however, are given something extra: wigs. Gino Beeckman, hair and make-up artist, has an immense archive of natural haired wigs. For our exhibition that contains more than 100 silhouettes, Gino has collaborated with MoMu and Olivier Theyskens, giving all the Bonaveri mannequins a unique haircut.


Behind the scenes

The Visual Thesaurus for Fashion & Costumes


Drawings by David Ring

Starting from 7th October is not only the Week van het Nederlands (Week of the Dutch language) but is also the end of a two-year project of MoMu called the Visual Thesaurus for Fashion & Costumes! Along with eleven other museums, MoMu has worked on the project collecting different terminology to describe clothing and added them in a database.

Fashion has a very long and international history where garments from all over the world received a different name. A banyan for example, a type of morning gown, can be written in five different ways in Dutch. It was an open robe that resembles a kimono, taken from the East Indian trade areas and worn by rich men during the 17th and 18th century. Other English examples include the pants – trousers synonyms, or mini-skirt, which is also known as a ‘mini’.

This kind of diversity not only makes describing clothing in databases much more complicated, but it is also difficult for the online visitor to find the objects that he/she is looking for. The Visual Thesaurus for Fashion & Costumes is the solution to these problems. If you are interested in our project, make sure to check out this article and the blog of our partner Modemuze.nl.

Extra facts:

1. Fred Astaire was known for wearing ties around his waist. He simply tied an old silk tie around his mini 80cm waist. He was on the Best Dressed List for quite a few times

2. Hammer pants, a type of harem pants, are were actually named by rapper MC Hammer during the 80s and featured in his infamous music video You can’t touch this (1990).

3. During the 17th and 18th century, men wore a special cap for ten days long after a baby was born: the so-called kraamherenmuts for new fathers.


4. Women who rode horses in the 19th century had to ride the horse with their legs on one side. The legs were covered by a heavy asymmetrical woolen skirt that covered the legs, part of their distinguished amazone costume.


Words by Ykje Wildenborg


New Acquisition: Les Miniatures Belgitude by Delvaux


Kindly gifted by Delvaux, MoMu has acquired the ‘Les Miniatures Belgitude’ mini bags!

Paying tribute to its Belgian roots, Delvaux has designed seven miniature versions of its most iconic handbag ‘the Brillant’. These limited edition one-of-a-kind cheery little ambassadors of Belgitude is an homage to seven cities in Belgium: Antwerp, Brussels, Knokke Le Zoute, Ostende, Gand, Liège and Namur. Scaled down in size but scaled up in craftsmanship, the seven wearable charms perfectly embodies the spirit of Delvaux.


In addition, Delvaux collaborated with Belgian filmmaker Jaco van Dormael to create seven equally playful short films filled with surrealist imagery and optical illusions.




Helmut Lang, A/W 2004-05. Photo by Stany Dederen

After resigning as creative director of his fashion house in 2005, Helmut Lang turned away from his former profession to focus solely on fine art. His minimalist and deconstructivist work is no longer presented on runways, but represented by galleries dealing in contemporary art. During his career in fashion, Lang kept the art world close by with various creative collaborations with stylists, photographers, and contemporary artists, such as Louise Bourgeois and Jenny Holzer. Whilst working in fashion, Lang spoke about his practice as being ‘against’ the commercial industry, as a part of a counter-movement that moved fashion towards a new kind of sobriety and away from 1980s glamour and excess.


Helmut Lang, S/S 2004. Photo by Stany Dederen

Lang still counts as one of the most influential designers and, this season, his brand was re-launched by Dazed and Confused’s editor-in-chief Isabella Burley, operating under the title “editor-in-residence”. Burley will oversee all creative aspects of the brand, and will sign up individual designers to work on solo collections, beginning with Shayne Oliver of Hood By Air. Burley explained her approach of ‘rotating designers’ to Vogue:

The idea of appointing different designers to work on projects was born of the notion of how Helmut as a legacy has influenced a new generation of designers. Shayne is the first of an on-going series […]The brand has such strong roots, there’s a very clear aesthetic, there’s a lot for people to respond to.

Oliver Shayne was most interested in the way Lang had played with elements of fetish and bondage. With many asymmetric bras and harnesses, rearless pants suspended from the waistband like garters and BDSM accessories, Shayne’s eccentric S/S 2018 collection clearly showed how he ‘wanted to bring back the vibe of sensuality’.

Helmut Lang had described his runway shows as ‘séances de travail’ or ‘working sessions’: they were pitched as art events, performing the mood of the moment in which his pieces were not just displayed as commodities but rather as clothing that was actually worn by creative individuals. For Shayne’s S/S 2018 show, casting directors Samuel Ellis Scheinman and Walter Pearce opted for a similar diverse line-up of old and new (street-cast) faces, bringing back several of Lang’s original muses including Danielle Zinaich and Kirsten Owen. Make-up artist Inge Grognard understood the raw beauty of Lang’s Nineties models and for ‘Lang seen by Shayne’ she added a two-tone mouth: painted in bright red with really thin and sharp burgundy in the corners.

It will be intriguing to see how these successive creative directors will work with the brand’s cult status and archive, and more importantly with the nostalgia that is still attached to Lang’s practice today.

More about Helmut Lang’s new identity as a contemporary artist here


TEASER: Olivier Theyskens – She walks in beauty