Exhibition

Black Swan White Swan

Alexander McQueen, A/W 2009-2010, Horn of Plenty, Photo: Etienne Tordoir, Catwalkpictures.com

Alexander McQueen, A/W 2009-2010, Horn of Plenty, Photo: Etienne Tordoir, Catwalkpictures.com

The symbolism of the white and black swan is a cultural reference to the two swans in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (1875-1876), where one ballerina dances the two versions of the swan. It is a fairy tale about Odette. She is turned into a white swan by a magician and falls in love with a swan prince.

Unfortunately, Odette is ousted by the black swan, Odile, who eventually lures the prince away. The white swan stands for innocence, romance and youth personified by Odette, who dies at the end of the story. The black swan represents the threatening, demonic and erotic powers of a femme fatale who ultimately prevails, but in the end loses her lover. The mythological story of Leda, who was cunningly overpowered by Zeus in the form of a swan, also stands for innocence lost and evil that triumphs in the form of charm.

The duality between good and evil is very much present in the dramatic oeuvre of British designer Alexander McQueen.

Alexander McQueen, A/W 2009-2010, Horn of Plenty, Photo: Etienne Tordoir, Catwalkpictures.com

Alexander McQueen, A/W 2009-2010, Horn of Plenty, Photo: Etienne Tordoir, Catwalkpictures.com

Since childhood he was fascinated by birds in flight, he says: ‘Birds in flight fascinate me. I admire eagles and falcons. I am inspired by a feather’s shape but also its color, its graphics, its weightlessness and its engineering. It’s so elaborate. In fact I try and transpose the beauty of a bird to women.’ (Quote from A. Bolton, Savage Beauty, NY, 2011, p. 172)

Exhibition

Bird of Prey: the use of exotic feathers in fashion

Drawing of a Bird of Paradise by Buffon in Oeuvres complètes de Buffon, 8th and 9th part: Histoire Naturelle des oiseaux, Brussels, Adolphe Deros, 1852

Drawing of a Bird of Paradise by Buffon in Oeuvres complètes de Buffon, 8th and 9th part: Histoire Naturelle des oiseaux, Brussels, Adolphe Deros, 1852

The Birds of Paradise exhibition has many different types of feathers on show, from different bird species and from different periods in time.

Bird of Prey, Punch Limited, UK

Bird of Prey, Punch Limited, UK

The use of exotic feathers peaked at the end of the nineteenth century because of the popularity of feathers as fashionable hat ornaments. Wild ostrich feathers, heron, peacock and bird of paradise feathers were very costly and elegant and thus the ideal status symbol for a lady of style. Because of this popularity, some bird species became endangered and animal rights protection groups were founded, especially in London, where most feathers were traded. Feathers in fashion are hence at the origins of animal rights organisations.

Ostrich Farming in South Africa, The Illustrated London News, March 30 1878, Mary Evans Picture Library

Ostrich Farming in South Africa, The Illustrated London News, March 30 1878, Mary Evans Picture Library

In Paris, where the feathers are used in the fashion industry, the plumassiers (feather workers), like Maison Lemarié, refined their dyeing and processing techniques to imitate the protected feather species. This way, contemporary fashion creations only contain feathers that were collected in an ethical, non-intrusive way.

Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Dress with bodice in goose feathers and skirt in ostrich feathers, S/S 2011, Photo: Etienne Tordoir - Catwalkpictures.com

Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Dress with bodice in goose feathers and skirt in ostrich feathers, S/S 2011, Photo: Etienne Tordoir – Catwalkpictures.com

When they do contain protected feathers, these are historical, one-of-a-kind samples. The historical pieces in the exhibition are sometimes made with feathers from endangered species and tell the history of the feather as a fashionable status symbol that gave rise to the protection of exotic bird species.

Collection, Event, Library

Heritage Day 2014

Erfgoeddag2014

Mark your agendas, because on Sunday April 27th it’s Heritage Day (Erfgoeddag)! All day you can enjoy an all-round offer of heritage in museums, archives and heritage libraries through Flanders and Brussels for free. This year’s theme will be ‘Without Boundaries’.

Postcard from Axel, The Netherlands from the Wiebe Stodel collection, Photo: MoMu - Collection

Postcard from Axel, The Netherlands from the Wiebe Stodel collection, Photo: MoMu – Collection

The MoMu Library presents an installation with its elaborate collection of regional clothing. Most of this collection comes from the Dutch private collector Wiebe Stodel (acquired by MoMu in 2001).

Chinese figurine representing Mo Zhongli a character from a Chinese play

Chinese figurine representing Mo Zhongli a character from a Chinese play from the Wiebe Stodel collection, Photo: MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp

Over a period of thirty years, Stodel built up a collection of books on traditional costumes from all over the world. By 1993 he had acquired more than 6.000 books on traditional dress, jewellery, body-decoration and hairstyles. He did not only collect books, but also postcards, pictures and other documentation. On Erfgoeddag we will introduce both the collection and the collector.

Ethnical costume at SHOW2013, the graduation show of the Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Etienne Tordoir - Catwalkpictures.com

Ethnical costume at SHOW2013, the graduation show of the Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Etienne Tordoir – Catwalkpictures.com

In addition to the above, the MoMu Gallery presents the ethnical costumes of 14 students from the Antwerp Fashion Department.

Event, Press&PR

Maison Minnie Mouse at the MoMu!

Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th in the hallway of MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th in the hallway of MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

From today until April 20th MoMu celebrates Minnie Mouse, one of its most iconic figures at our museum!

Since her first appearance in Steamboat Willie (1928) as Mickey Mouse’s love interest, the public have taken Minnie to heart. Minnie is a muse for many designers and has inspired fashion collections and catwalks from Paris to New York.

The installation Maison Minnie Mouse in the hallway of the MoMu celebrates Minnie Mouse as Disney’s best-loved muse and fashion icon. Five young designers who have graduated from Belgian fashion colleges were asked to design a new look for Minnie. The five designers who gave free reign to their creativity are Damien Ravn, Doriane Van Overeem, Emmanuelle Lebas, KRJST and Minju Kim.

Damien Ravn fro Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th 2014 at MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp

Damien Ravn for Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th 2014 at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp

Minju Kim for Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th 2014 at MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp

Minju Kim for Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th 2014 at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp

Discover the creations until April 20th in the hallway of the MoMu (free entrance).

Behind the scenes, Exhibition

Scenographer’s view: plumes

Photo: Bob Verhelst

Photo: Bob Verhelst

Behind the scenes, Exhibition

2 days to go before the opening of Birds of Paradise

Feathered silhouette by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas at MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp

Feathered silhouette by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp. Shot with Pentax K-01

2 days before the opening of Birds of Paradise! We are putting the last silhouettes in the exhibition space, such as this feathered beauty by Olivier Theyskens for Rochas.

Behind the scenes, Exhibition

Scenographer’s view: the museum as an abstract painting

Photo: Bob Verhelst

Photo: Bob Verhelst

Exhibition

Say hello to these feathery friends!

Stuffed swan from the Antwerp Zoo study collection to be transported for the Birds of Paradise expo at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

Stuffed swan from the Antwerp Zoo study collection to be transported for the Birds of Paradise expo at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho, Shot with Pentax K-01

During the preparation for the upcoming expo Birds of Paradise we have transported 23 stuffed birds from the collection of the Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen (KBIN – Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences) from Brussels to Antwerp.

Stuffed peacock from the Antwerp Zoo study collection arrived safely at MoMu Antwerp for the Birds of Paradise expo, Photo: Monica Ho

Stuffed peacock from the Antwerp Zoo study collection arrived safely at MoMu Antwerp for the Birds of Paradise expo, Photo: Monica Ho, Shot with Pentax K-01

The collection also includes part of the collection that used to belong to the Antwerp Zoo where it was used as a study collection.
These stuffed birds, from peacocks to swans, display a variety of stunning feathers in all different shapes and colors which will fit in very nicely with the silhouettes featured in the expo.

Stuffed birds from the Antwerp Zoo study collection to be transported for the Birds of Paradise expo at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

Stuffed birds from the Antwerp Zoo study collection to be transported for the Birds of Paradise expo at MoMu Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho, Shot with Pentax K-01

Our feathery friends arrived safely and are ready to be set up in the exhibition!

(Text Monica Ho)

Exhibition, Press&PR

Teaser Birds of Paradise

Teaser BIRDS OF PARADISE Plumes & Feathers in Fashion at MoMu from MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp on Vimeo.

Check out our teaser video of the upcoming Birds of Paradise expo featuring iconic silhouettes by ao Ann Demeulemeester, Thierry Mugler, Lanvin, Dries Van Noten, Dior, Prada,… and many more!

Event, Exhibition, Press&PR

50 Years Antwerp Fashion at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Konichiwa!

Japan’s most influential department store Isetan invited MoMu for an installation on 50 years Antwerp Fashion Department.

Silhouettes by Koji Arai, Mikio Sakabe, Yuima Nakazato and Kanya Miki at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Silhouettes by Koji Arai, Mikio Sakabe, Yuima Nakazato and Kanya Miki at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu presents the unique identity of Antwerp fashion with a selection of archive pictures and videos, the miniature mannequin dolls of the graduation silhouettes of the Antwerp Six+1 (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Dirk Bikkembergs and Martin Margiela), original graphic material from past graduates and graduation silhouettes by a selection of noteworthy Japanese graduates such as Mikio Sakabe, Yuima Nakazato, Koji Arai and Kanya Miki.

Miniature graduation silhouette of Dries Van Noten at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Miniature graduation silhouette of Dries Van Noten at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Graphic material of graduates of the Antwerp Fashion Department at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Graphic material of graduates of the Antwerp Fashion Department at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Drawing by Angelo Figus at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

Drawing by Angelo Figus at MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

The installation is supported by Flanders Center and is part of the one year celebration of Isetan’s renovated fashion store floors. On view until March 11th from 10AM until 8PM at Isetan Shinjuku (3rd floor).

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo

MoMu Antwerp installation 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department at Isetan Tokyo