MoMu Gallery – Natan: the Dress – 16/10/2016 > 4/12/2016


In 2016, the Belgian fashion house Natan is planning to gift a couture creation to the ModeMuseum Antwerpen (Antwerp Fashion Museum). As a result of this gift, the ModeMuseum has created a film documenting the entire design and manufacturing process of the dress. The film records the various stages of the creative process of the dress: from the early design idea, the first sketch and the various fittings in the studio to the photo shoot with the model. The film is supplemented by interviews with Kaat Debo (Director of MoMu), Christian Salez (Furthermore Ltd London and Executive Director at Natan) and Pierre Mallevays (Managing Partner at Savigny Partners LLP).

Presenting the creative process is a unique opportunity, considering the museum is usually only able to acquire and purchase end products for its collections. With this project, the ModeMuseum not only wants to highlight the great craftsmanship of Edouard Vermeulen, designer and owner of the Natan house, but also to show a glimpse behind the scenes of the house and the professional skill of the team active in the Natan couture studio.

With his fashion house Natan, Edouard Vermeulen has been working in the fashion world for more than 30 years and he is an important international representative of Belgian fashion. He is particularly known for the creations he has made for the Belgian royal family and various European royal houses, but also for his refined style and passionate craftsmanship. In this he fulfils a valuable role of ambassador for Belgian fashion and craftsmanship. Vermeulen has a predilection for luxurious materials and monochrome colour palettes. He avoids excessive prints or embellishment. He limits decorations to an accent, a flower or a bow. He likes working with architectural volumes, whereby the cuts of the clothing hark back to iconic designs by Balenciaga and Balmain from haute couture in the middle of the previous century.


The documentary can be seen from 16/10 to 4/12/2016 in the MoMu Gallery (free entrance), accompanied by a selection of unique couture creations from the Natan fashion house.

The film and exhibition were made possible with support from the Deutsche Bank.


Join MoMu+Friends and enjoy extra activities!



Join MoMu+Friend and MoMu+Close Friend and you can enjoy special activities and advantages through the whole year. Besides a year free entrance to all the exhitions, you also get the opportunity to have a unique view behind the scenes of the Antwerp fashion world.

From the opening of Rik Wouters & het huiselijk utopia on 17 September onwards, you can expect a series of special events exclusively for members of MoMu+Friends! Of course, there will be events around the exhibition itself, but our yearly excursion to an international museum en various other excursions will also be on the programme. Of course, you will also receive extra discounts on MoMu events, such as talks. Below you can find a few activities that we have already planned!

Full programma can be found here.

September 24th 2016 – Guided tour Rik Wouters


©Koninklijk Museum van Schone Kunsten Brussel, Photo: J. Geleyns | RO SCAN. Right: Rik Wouters, Lady with the Yellow Necklace. Ronald Stoops. Left: Walter Van Beirendonck, Home Sweet Home SS 2014

Explore the story behind the exhibition Rik Wouters & the private utopia during a guided tour. Before the tour we welcome you with a small bite and a drink.

October 1st 2016 – Excursion Paris “Anatomie d’une collection” at Palais Galliera

©Pierre Antoine

©Pierre Antoine

On Saturday 1 October MoMu+Friends organises a day excursion to Paris for its members. During this day, Friends enjoy a guided tour of the exhibition Anatomie d’une collection at the Parisian fashion museum Palais Galliera. After the visit, members can spend the afternoon in Paris.

November 6th 2016 – Excursion Lucy McKenzie, Ostend

© Kristien Daem

© Kristien Daem

Visit the artistic residence of Lucy McKenzie in Ostend. The modernist house was built in 1936 by the architect Joseph De Bruycker. Since 2014, McKenzie transformed the house into a site for exhibitions, projects and research. Together with Atelier E.B. she designed special installations for the Rik Wouters exhibition. During the visit we will also have some time for a coffee break.



Study Collections: A Challenging Context for Museums and Universities


On Thursday 29th September, University of Antwerp is holding a conference introducing its study collections project that has been on going since October 2014. The aim of this conference is to discuss the results obtained during the two-year study: used methods, findings and assessment of results.

For the project two study collections were used as a case study: (1) The study collection Chris D’Hondt is used since 1994 at the University of Antwerp during the practical courses of textile conservation. The diversity and variety in materials and patterns make this collection most interesting. The collection was donated by the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in New York in 1994. Since then it has been used by students textile conservation to practice the art of pattern taking and presentation, preservation and conservation techniques & (2) Jacoba De Jonge, who collected historical costumes and accessories throughout almost all of her life, gave the largest part of her collection to MoMu. After 50 years she was in possession of a large collection of mainly 18th and 19th century clothing and accessories for men, women and children. MoMu acquired a large part of this collection in 2012, to complete its own historical collection.

Soon, MoMu will start with a new project to bring part of the collection closer to its visitors. This will happen by introducing a study collection of fashion and textile items. This study collection consists of about 850 objects that can be consulted in the reading room of the library. A wide range of items will be at present to hopefully answer many of your questions concerning patterns, fabrics and techniques.

For more practical information, please check out the website!









We are closed!

MoMu Closed Web 2016 EN
Game Changers is a wrap! We are officially closed until 16th September. We hope to see you on 17th September with our brand new expo Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia.

Museum Night at MoMu


On Saturday 6th August between 7pm and 1am, you can discover the Antwerp museums in a different light. In addition to the permanent collection and exhibitions of 22 museums in Antwerp, you can also enjoy nightly tours, summer bars, a seductive dance initiation, concerts, … But the party does not stop there because the night will go on at the Afterparty. More information about the programme  www.museumnacht.be


Photo: MoMu Antwerp / Stany Dederen


Photo: MoMu Antwerp / Stany Dederen

In MoMu – The Fashion Museum of Antwerp, you can enjoy the last weeks of the exhibition ‘Game Changers’. Until 14th August you can discover over 100 unique couture and ready-to-wear silhouets by Cristobal Balenciaga, Madeleine Vionnet, Gabrielle Chanel, but also Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Martin Margiela,… Entrance is free during Museum Night.


Drawing by Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors

Along with KMSKA, MoMu looks forward to its exhibition that will open during the fall (Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia from 17/09) starring the painter Rik Wouters and his 100-year death anniversary.Young fashion talent Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors graduated in 2016 from the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp with the collection ‘How To Catch a Fish’. This collection won the MoMu Award and can be seen in the MoMu Gallery.

The strong graphical qualities of her work are the basis of the collection: she imagines herself in utopian settings which celebrate the simple, natural life. For Museum Night she was inspired by Rik Wouters’ paintings, which also depict the small moments of life with a lot of colour and light, so Pittoors painted her own private utopia.

Who will win a spot in the museum?

In the past weeks, 500 artists submitted an artwork in hopes to exhibit it during Museum Night. Eleven museums judged the entries and selected 20 artworks. MoMu chose a selection from the works of Anneke Lauwaert.

Also several company managers browsed through the entries. Their selection of exceptional artworks will be displayed in the expo ‘Ongezien Talent’ at DIVA during Museum Night. For this expo, the jury carefully selected the artworks of Albert Horemans, Bob Torfs and Marie Lexmondwith MoMu director Kaat Debo

Tickets and info

The Museum Night wristband gives you access to 22 museums and shuttle buses. Presale: € 8 (at Info Culture and www.museumnacht.be) <26 years: € 5, <12 years: free, the evening itself in the museums: € 10

Collection, Library

New Acquisition: Video Material from Horst Wanschura

MoMu library is extremely excited to have received a generous donation from Horst Wanschura, a multibrand concept store in Stuttgart, Germany. The store has donated a ton of video material to the library including rare video footages of 80s – 90s collections of renowned fashion designers such as Jean Paul Gaulthier, Junya Watanabe, Ann Demeulemeester etc. We are extremely proud to add these gems to our current collection. The next step? Digitalize all the fragile VHS material and keep them safe!


Teaser Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia

From 17|09|2016 > 26|02|2017 MoMu will presents its newest expo Rik Wouters & The Private Utopia. In collaboration with KMSKA, MoMu will unite fashion, craftsmanship and art. Starring the intimate and domestic paintings by Rik Wouters combined with silhouettes from Belgian designers and contemporary artists.



Upcoming: Rik Wouters & the Private Utopia

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

Rik Wouters ©KMSKA | Photo by Ronald Stoops | Graphic design by Paul Boudens

The theme of enchanting homeliness by painter Rik Wouters, as well as the intimate feeling of sanctity between him and his wife Nel, forms the premise of this exhibition.

In our region, Wouters was the only artist to combine Post-Impressionist painting techniques with simple domestic scenes. His expressive brush strokes and the unfinished style of his canvases give a dynamic to his work that, combined with the emphasis on lighting and colour, result in an enchanting and optimistic quality.


Rik Wouters, Tullips, 1912, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Dirk Van Saene, SS 2005, Photo: Stany Dederen

In this exhibition, the contemporary movement in which people are again seeking domestic intimacy and contact with nature, the ‘slow’ movement and the renewed attention for traditional techniques, like ceramics, weaving and dyeing, are linked with the utopian philosophy from Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden.


Rik Wouters, Self Portrait With Black Eye Patch, 1915, oil on canvas © KMSKA – Lukasart in Flanders VZW, Photo: Hugo Maertens / Jan-jan Van Essche, No Man Is An Island, SS2016, © Photo: Pietro Celestina & Maud Van Haegenborgh

Various Belgian fashion designers — including Dirk Van Saene, Bruno Pieters, Christian Wijnants, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, Martin Margiela and Jan-Jan Van Essche — give their individual interpretations to these thoughts: some by choosing specific fabrics and techniques, and others through their idiosyncratic position in fashion, in which they do not give praise to the hectic pace of the fashion world.


Rik Wouters, Kale, not dated, oil on canvas © KMSKB , Photo: J. Geleyns, RO Scan / Bernhard Willhelm, SS 2001, © Photo: Carmen Freudenthal & Elle Verhagen

This exhibition is a partnership between MoMu and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of painter Rik Wouters in 2016. The exhibition brings together work by Rik Wouters from the KMSKA collection and pieces by contemporary artists and fashion designers.

Behind the scenes, Collection

Working with the MoMu/UA Study Collection: Traditional German headware


Traditional German headware (ca. 1890)

Inventory number: 80289

Materials and techniques: Silk; Cotton; Wool; Cardboard; Metal thread (silver); Metal lamina strips; Glass beads; Stones


This hat is a beautiful example of a mixed-material object that can be found in a textile collection. It consists of a metal frame, which was completely deformed, with a silver coating, richtly ornamented with motives in silver thread and silver lamina strips, and finished with beads. The methods for conserving metal were chosen so as not to be harmful for the textile, and vice versa. The frame was carefully bent back into its proper form. Corrosion on the frame was removed by an abrasive method after which the metal was protected with a coating against the influences of oxygen. The fibres of the fragile, damaged and broken silk ribbons were stabilized on a silk support and protected by a silk crepeline. This is a method to preserve and protect the ribbons, which yields a nice uniform result and gives the viewer an idea of how the hat must have looked in its earlier days.

Words by Bernice Brigou and Natalie Ortega, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Design Sciences, research group Heritage & Sustainability. Project supported by the Flemish Government.


New Acquisition: Iris Van Herpen couture dress worn by Björk


Thanks to MoMu+Friends, MoMu has acquired a new item from the Kerry Taylor Auction: Björk’s Iris van Herpen couture off-white iridescent acrylic dress, worn for the ‘Biophilia’ tour, ‘Micro’ collection, Spring-Summer, 2012.


Björk’s Iris van Herpen couture off-white iridescent acrylic dress, worn for the ‘Biophilia’ tour, ‘Micro’ collection, Spring-Summer, 2012. the nude jersey ground applied with complex armour-like layers of fan-shaped hand and laser cut acrylic panels.

Iris van Herpen’s inspiration for this collection was scientific SEM photographs of bacilli, vermin, mites, lice and termites. She said, ‘I wanted to show the beauty of them, because in my eyes they are the most bizarre, unbelievable and most imaginative creatures imaginable’ This dress took 4 months to complete..

Impressed by the dress? Our ‘Game Changers’ expo features a few more radical dresses by Iris Van Herpen! Game Changers: Reinventing the 20th Century Silhouette until 14th August at MoMu Antwerp!