Library

Summer schedule MoMu Library

Cover image Le Livre de la Mode à Paris, Nr14, 1920, MoMu Library collection

Cover image Le Livre de la Mode à Paris, Nr14, 1920, MoMu Library collection

During the summer holidays in July and August the MoMu Library will be open by appointment only. Please contact us by mail or call +32 3 470 27 79 to make an appointment!

Exhibition

MoMu Award 2014: Madeleine Coisne – Centers

Madeleine Coisne at the MoMu Gallery in Antwerp, 2014, Photo: Charlotte De Gier

Madeleine Coisne at the MoMu Gallery in Antwerp, 2014, Photo: Charlotte De Gier

Every year, MoMu gives the “MoMu award” to a MA student of the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp. The student is judged by the creative vision and technical merit portrayed in the graduation collection. The winning collection is on view for four months in the MoMu Gallery.

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This year, the winner is Madeleine Coisne with her “Centers” collection. The sense of history in her creative vision is poignant. The collection draws from her childhood memories: her father wearing double buckle shoes and her mother’s taste for collecting curious objects.

Madeleine Coisne at the MoMu Gallery in Antwerp, 2014, Photo: Charlotte De Gier

Madeleine Coisne at the MoMu Gallery in Antwerp, 2014, Photo: Charlotte De Gier

Abstract patterns of the tiles of the Antwerp railway arches as inspiration for the collection of Madeleine Coisne, 2014, Photo: MoMu

Abstract patterns of the tiles of the Antwerp railway arches as inspiration for the collection of Madeleine Coisne, 2014, Photo: MoMu

Coisne is also inspired by the (decorative) arts. She cites the abstract patterns of the tiles of the Antwerp railway arches, the bold graphic shapes found on religious textiles, patterns from Byzantine architecture and the colours by artists such as Mondriaan and Gauguin.

Her inspirations translate into a collection of monumental, Japanese looking shapes with striking colourful patterns. Deep and rich colours reflect from silky surfaces or raggedy swatches, resulting in intricate abstract appliqué motives.

Madeleine Coisne in Unfold, the magazine of the Antwerp Fashion Department, styling: Dirk Van Saene, photo: Ronald Stoops, make-up: Inge Grognard, model: Kristina De Coninck

Madeleine Coisne in Unfold, the magazine of the Antwerp Fashion Department, styling: Dirk Van Saene, photo: Ronald Stoops, make-up: Inge Grognard, model: Kristina De Coninck

Coisne achieves to disturb our sense of what is old and what is new. Her mix of abstraction and history show that labels like “old” and “new” are very relative. We invite you to view Madeleine Coisne “Centers” collection in the MoMu gallery (free entry) during museum opening hours and in UNFOLD, the magazine of the Fashion Department.

Library

Elegance in an age of crisis

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

A recent interesting acquisition of the MoMu Library is Elegance in an Age of Crisis, a powerful book that pays a tribute to modern fashion of both men and women, and the craftspeople who constructed it. The book illustrates styles that are still seen as the ideal of beauty and modernity today.

The 1930s is seen as a decade where modern clothing was created. Set between the stock market crash and outbreak of World War II, the 1930s was surprisingly elegant and cheerful. Both women’s high fashion, men’s tailoring and the accessories got a modern and elegant touch.

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

With the rise of classicism, the shapeless styles of the 1920s were replaced by fashion that was all about the proportions and balance. Advances in textile technology and reliance on craftsmanship led to a new, modern style of clothing. To keep the style of well-proportioned and balanced clothing, the tailors and dressmakers constructed clothing without padding and boning.

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

Elegance in an Age of Crisis: Fashions in the 1930s, published by Yale University Press, 2014

Head down to the MoMu library to get this book in your hands and indulge yourself in the modern clothing of 1930s!
Check out our new acquisitions via our website!

(text Monica Ho)

Behind the scenes, Press&PR

We’re in deep water

#wateraandelippen, 24 Flemish musea protest in Brussels, photo: Gabrielle De Pooter

#wateraandelippen, 24 Flemish musea protest in Brussels, photo: Gabrielle De Pooter

Yesterday, 24 Flemish museums gathered on the Martelarenplein in Brussels, where the Flemish government is housed. Of course, MoMu was present as well! Together we stood up against the shortage of federal funding, which is the result of a budget freeze for the period 2014-2018. In an open letter, among others MAS, S.M.A.K., MHKA, KMSKA, FoMu and MoMu, pleaded for nearly a doubling of the current budget: from 8.2 to 16 million euros. Due to the shortage in resources, many of the institutions are already in deep water.

#wateraandelippen, 24 Flemish musea protest in Brussels, photo: Gabrielle De Pooter

#wateraandelippen, 24 Flemish musea protest in Brussels, photo: Gabrielle De Pooter

For the protest itself, each museum brought along one piece of its archive: a piece that for them illustrates the necessity of this action. MoMu opted for a picture of the iconic ‘Bar jacket’ from Christian Dior by Raf Simons for the Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Thanks to the financial support of the MoMu+Friends, the friends organization, MoMu was able to add this wonderful piece to its collection.

Without a strong financial support coming from the federal government, MoMu cannot maintain its role as representative of Belgian fashion and fashion heritage on a global level.

Take a look at the report of the gathering on VRT, the Belgian national television.

(text: Hannah Bergen)

Exhibition

Feathers and Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy

The Birds of Paradise exhibition has amongst its silhouettes two extraordinary haute couture looks loaned to MoMu by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.

Detail of the dress Zuzanna, Haute Couture A/W 2011-2012 by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy

Detail of the dress Zuzanna, Haute Couture A/W 2011-2012 by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy

The first dress, Zuzanna, Haute Couture A/W 2011-2012 is a work of curled goose feathers in appliqué on white pony skin, with pearl embroidery and appliqué of ostrich feathers, and the silk skirt is embroidered with lace and ostrich feathers. The detail in the backside of the dress is a fine example of the métier of haute couture, especially in combination with the belt in gilded pony skin and stingray, through which the curled feathers are woven.

Dress Copaifera by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture A/W 2010-2011 at Birds of Paradise, MoMu - Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

Dress Copaifera by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy Haute Couture A/W 2010-2011 at Birds of Paradise, MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp, Photo: Monica Ho

Another example of the mix of handwork and new technology in a couture outfit is the second Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci silhouette, Copaifera, Haute Couture Autumn-Winter 2010–2011, in which a long dress in silk tulle is hand-dyed in a gradient and embroidered with ostrich feathers and laser cut leather lace panels. The long jacket with embroidery of fine bands of leather is an incredibly detailed work of couture ateliers that results in a contemporary, modern structure.

Both silhouettes exude luxury, elegance and are pristine examples of the contemporary fusion of creative vision with age-old couture crafts.

Exhibition

Trompe-l’-oeil feathers

Dress and waist belt made of silk foulards by Hermès, with print in feather pattern 1970-1980, MoMu Collection T04/97AB, donation by Mrs. Herbosch-Ceurremans. Photo: Stephen Mattues

Dress and waist belt made of silk foulards by Hermès, with print in feather pattern 1970-1980, MoMu Collection T04/97AB, donation by Mrs. Herbosch-Ceurremans. Photo: Stephen Mattues

Feathers and feather patterns are very suitable to create a trompe-l’-oeil effect. They can also be treated in such a way that they do not even resemble a feather anymore.

In addition, one can work with feather prints or use other materials that are made to look like feathers. Thanks to the wide variety and different kind of feathers, the opportunities are endless. Because feathers are often used to imitate fur, they are sometimes extended by or replaced by other animal materials that create a feather coat effect.

Behind the scenes, Collection

New acquisition Raf Simons S/S2014

Raf Simons S/S2014 A-line T-shirt in neoprene with print. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

Raf Simons S/S2014 A-line T-shirt in neoprene with print. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

MoMu recently acquired a selection of the striking S/S2014 Raf Simons collection.
Simons’ collection was inspired by Pop Art and explored the ideas concerning branding and consumption with slogans like “Artificially flavored” and “This is the new shape”.

Raf Simons S/S2014 Sleeveless A-line T-shirt in neoprene with print. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

Raf Simons S/S2014 Sleeveless A-line T-shirt in neoprene with print. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

Raf Simons S/S2014 Super Trekker Boots in soft leather, suède and technical fibres and rubber sole. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

Raf Simons S/S2014 Super Trekker Boots in soft leather, suède and technical fibres and rubber sole. MoMu Collection, Photo: Monica Ho

“Nature versus artifice: that might have been that might have been the core of it all. A lot of the fabrics were purely synthetic, but the sentiment behind them was as real and as ardent as the one that drove Simons nearly 20 years ago when he made clothes inspired by the songs of angry young men. But something had to change. Less anger, more light. A sense of fun. The key word for Simons was “freedom.” He is known for his tailoring, but there was precious little of that here, because suits are ultimately just another restrictive uniform. A Simons show is always a proposal. Ideas need to be digested, recast in their essence. That will happen here, too. You’ll see these things filter into the world in one free form or another.” quote from Tim Blanks review on Style.com

Exhibition

Pheasant

Haider Ackermann, A/W 2006-2007. Silhouette with pheasant feathers. Photo: Marleen Daniëls

Haider Ackermann, A/W 2006-2007. Silhouette with pheasant feathers. Photo: Marleen Daniëls

Pheasant is the vernacular name of many species of the Phasianinae subfamily (Galliformes order). There are twenty-three species of the pheasant itself, not counting the closely related species sic as Peafowl, Tragopan and Junglefowl,… Like most birds that nest on the ground, the females have a dull plumage which camouflages them when they brood, whereas the males sport gleaming colors and, characteristic of the group, long tails. The courtship parades are often spectacular. At least 15 pheasant species are in danger or threatened around the world by hunting or by the destruction of their habitat.

Only one species is commonly encountered in Europe: the Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), which does not originate from our regions but from the Black Sea basin. It is the most widespread and common pheasant in the world. Million of birds are bred each year in order to provide game for hunters. In France, it has the unhappy privilege of being second on the list of most hunted creatures 95% of them are bred for that purpose. Indeed, our rural pheasants come from breeding farms, and without these regular contributions, the populations would quickly decline. Every self-respecting hunter must sport a pheasant feather on his hat.

Common Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phasianus_colchicus_torquatus_Hardwicke.jpg

Common Pheasant, Phasianus colchicus, source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phasianus_colchicus_torquatus_Hardwicke.jpg

The other pheasant species have some evocative names: Reeves’s, Lady Amherst’s, Royal, Golden, Silver,…

The tail of the male Reeve’s Pheasant (Syrmaticus reevesii) can be as long as two metres. Originating in China, its population is undergoing a dangerous decline, due to deforestation, to its being hunted for food, and to the collection of ornamental feathers. It has been introduced in to Europe with limited success.

The Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus) was imported to England from China in 1740 and was introduced into other parts of Europe thereafter. A bird frequently found in aviaries and zoos, the male sports a highly colored plumage, with a long crest of golden-yellow feathers. The latter is used fro making collars and fringes. As with other species, the tail is highly prized.

Event, Exhibition, Press&PR

MoMu+Friends in Paris

Arrival of the MoMu+Friends at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Photo: Hans Mulder

Arrival of the MoMu+Friends at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Photo: Hans Mulder

Last Saturday, MoMu+Friends, the friends organization of our museum, took off to Paris to visit de Dries Van Noten – Inspirations exhibition at Les Arts Décoratifs. We could not have wished for a more beautiful day in Paris, both the exhibition and the city were a sight to behold.

On the bus wit the MoMu+Friends to visit the Dries Van Noten - Inspirations expo in Paris, Photo: Hans Mulder

On the bus wit the MoMu+Friends to visit the Dries Van Noten – Inspirations expo in Paris, Photo: Hans Mulder

The sun had already risen when we left Antwerp in the early morning. The bus trip passed quickly and smoothly as we watched Diane Vreeland’s They Eye Has To Travel and held the first part of our fashion quiz. The quiz was especially created for this trip and tested MoMu+Friends and MoMu staff on their knowledge of MoMu and Dries Van Noten! It definitely wasn’t easy, but then again, the winner received the Dries Van Noten – Inspirations catalogue!

We arrived at Les Arts Décoratifs perfectly on time, where two guides took us around the Inspirations exhibition. The exhibition was stunning and mesmerizing, displaying not only silhouettes by Dries Van Noten, but also historical silhouettes and art works that inspire Dries Van Noten’s work. The exhibition truly felt like a trip through the mind and world of the designer.

Paris looks lovely in the sun! Photo: Charlotte de Gier

Paris looks lovely in the sun! Photo: Charlotte de Gier

After the exhibition, we had a few precious hours to ourselves in a city drenched in sunshine. All participants made utmost use of their time, whether it was shopping, lunching, visiting other exhibitions or simply relaxing in one of the city’s beautiful parks. At the end of the afternoon, we all had to hop back on the bus. Although we agreed that it was much too short, we all had an inspiring and an invigorating excursion.

We would like to thank everyone for attending this excursion and hope you will join us on the next one! Also interested in the benefits of the MoMu+Friends, subscribe here!

Exhibition

Feathers and shoes: Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier, A/W 2012-2013, Blue Angel, pump in leather, satin silk, man-made fibre, coloured chicken feathers. Photo: © Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier, A/W 2012-2013, Blue Angel, pump in leather, satin silk, man-made fibre, coloured chicken feathers. Photo: © Roger Vivier

Ever since the 19th century, shoes and slippers have been trimmed with swan down, but because the feathers are so fragile only very few of these have remained intact.

Roger Vivier, S/S 2008, Miami, pump in leather, covered with colored pheasant feathers, buckle in strass. Photo: © Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier, S/S 2008, Miami, pump in leather, covered with colored pheasant feathers, buckle in strass. Photo: © Roger Vivier

Although feathers are very seductive and elegant, there are only very few originals (intact) left with feathers. Ladies’ shoes, such as sandals and pumps, only have a small piece of surface to attach the feather to. It also requires a lot of handwork and feathers are easily damaged. Some experiments with feathers on shoes were conducted at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, but that was mainly after WW II.

Roger Vivier, S/S 2008, Guermantes, pump in leather, satin, man-made fibre with coloured and treated chicken and rooster feathers. Photo: © Roger Vivier

Roger Vivier, S/S 2008, Guermantes, pump in leather, satin, man-made fibre with coloured and treated chicken and rooster feathers. Photo: © Roger Vivier

That’s why the group of shoes dedicated to feathers in the exhibition Birds of Paradise is entirely dedicated to Roger Vivier, the most famous shoe designer in haute couture, who started his career at Christian Dior (1953-1963) and went on to start his own label in 1963. Since 2003, Bruno Frisoni is the fashion house’s creative director and he has continued Vivier’s experiments with feathers.