Exhibition

Mary Prijot and the Antwerp Fashion Department

Portrait of Mary Prijot drawn by Martin Margiela, 1980-81, © Margiela/MoMu

Portrait of Mary Prijot drawn by Martin Margiela, 1980-81, © Margiela/MoMu

During the turbulent 1960s, the fashion and theatre costume department of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts was founded by the then Academy director Mark Macken. He appoints Mary Prijot, pianist and artist, as the head of the new department. Under her leadership the department of decorative and fashion drawing develops into a fully-fledged training program in fashion drawing with a distinct focus on the graphic aspect of the design process. Mary Prijot is a classically trained artist and her conception of fashion holds French elegance in very high regard – her shining example is Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel.

As part of the curriculum the students also visit fashion capitals like Paris and London, for Prijot believes that a broad artistic-cultural foundation is essential to becoming a good designer. In these cities, the students come in contact with the fashions and revolts at the end of the sixties. Although Prijot thinks it is necessary to be modern and fashionable, she is not interested in street and protest in fashion. At that moment, the artistic scene of the Wolstraat is booming in Antwerp. the fashion students do not take part. They trot around looking smart and elegant and have little in common with the hippies and provos that populate the other art programs. They are regarded as outsiders by their fellow students from other disciplines.

Presentation of the Antwerp Fashion Department, collection Fred De Bouvry, 1971, Photo Hilaire De Moor

Presentation of the Antwerp Fashion Department, collection Fred De Bouvry, 1971, Photo Hilaire De Moor

The end of year show of the department takes place in the cafeteria and the winter garden of the Academy. During the show everyone -both theatre and fashion design- uses the same music; it is a tape Prijot borrows from the fur seller Benoît. Already at this early stage of the program big names such as Jo Wijckmans, Linda Loppa and Fred Debouvry graduate. When still a student, Marthe Van Leemput is hired as couple instructor. Over the following years she becomes Prijot’s right hand.

Exhibition

Joyeux Anniversaire from Jean Paul Gaultier

From MoMu's catalogue 'Fashion/Antwerp/Academy/50' published by Lannoo

From MoMu’s catalogue ‘Fashion/Antwerp/Academy/50′ published by Lannoo

The presence of Jean Paul Gaultier among the jury of the Golden Spindle in 1983 gave this bygone competition an international aura, and his admiration for the talent he saw gave national fashion a tremendous confidence boost.

For the catalogue ‘Fashion Antwerp Academy 50′ published by Lannoo on the occasion of the Happy Birthday Dear Academie exhibition, Gaultier shares his memories in the preface of the catalogue.

Invitation Gondle Spindle Contest 1983, © MoMu Archives

Invitation Golden Spindle Contest 1983, © MoMu Archives

‘The first time I ever visited Antwerp was for the Canette d’Or, the Golden Spindle contest in 1983. I knew of the Antwerp Academy’s reputation because Linda Loppa, who had her own shop and was a customer of mine, headed the Fashion Department of the Academy at the time. When I arrived in the city, I discovered the importance of fashion and architecture – the Art Nouveau, the many beautiful stores, and the sense of fashion. So Fab!

I was shocked. It was something I truly didn’t expect. When I saw the student show I was so impressed with the quality, the professionalism. Each student could have had their own show in Paris – for me, that’s a big compliment. We went to see the Golden Spindle collect installations, and I was amazed that the designers did not only give attention to the clothes – each collection told an interesting story -, but also to merchandising, the presentation. I realized that everything was in balance, everything was complete! I myself hadn’t gone to school; I didn’t know that you could even learn all that!

So, to the Fashion Department of the Academy on its 50th birthday, I say Joyeux Anniversaire! All the designers I know have succeeded to develop their own personal style, and they prove that creativity is the only path to follow – even in periods of crisis. Bravo to them! – Jean Paul Gaultier’

Europeana fashion

Europeana Fashion Challenge

Last September, MoMu organised its own fashion edit-a-thon where participants wrote about Antwerp fashion. Photo: Christin and Monica Ho, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0.

Last September, MoMu organised its own fashion edit-a-thon where participants wrote about Antwerp fashion. Photo: Christin and Monica Ho, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0.

From 12 November until 12 December, Europeana Fashion hosts the online Europeana Fashion Challenge on Wikipedia. During this month-long challenge, participants are invited to edit articles related to fashion on Wikipedia and have a chance to win some great prizes.

The challenge welcomes both new and experienced writers to create, edit or improve as many fashion related articles on Wikipedia as possible. As a source of inspiration and to enrich the articles with illustrations, writers can use contemporary and historical fashion images and videos from the collections of Europeana Fashion partners on Wikimedia Commons.

Participants receive points for creating new articles and expanding existing articles that contain one or more Europeana Fashion images. The most studious participants have a chance to win fashion books made available by Europeana Fashion partners.

To kick off the challenge, three fashion edit-a-thons are held around Europe: in Sweden, Italy and Israel. During these events, attendees are taught how to edit on Wikipedia. However, attendance of one of these edit-a-thons is not required for participants of the online challenge. Anyone can enter the challenge by signing up and editing from wherever they are.
The Europeana Fashion challenge is organised by Europeana Fashion, Europeana Awareness, Wikimedia Sweden, Wikimedia Italy and Wikimedia Israel.

Sign up for the Europeana Fashion Challenge
Learn how to edit on Wikipedia

More information about the edit-a-thons:
12 November – Stockholm – at Nordiska Museet (in English)
14 November – Padova – at Museo Rossimoda della Calzatura (in Italian)
20 November – Tel Aviv – at the Design Faculty of the Holon Institute of Technology (in Hebrew)

Library

Wartime Fashion

cover Wartime Fashion

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Anyone with an active interest in World War II and fashion can now upgrade his knowledge with the new and essential reading, Wartime Fashion: From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939-1945, now available at the MoMu Library.

The Second World War and dress in Great-Britain were the inspiration for Geraldine Howells comprehensive analysis and study. Howell puts dress at the forefront of a complex series of cultural chain reactions. She explores the impact of war on the dress and appearance of civilian women of all classes in context of changing social and economic infrastructures created by the national emergency. – Wartime Fashion: From Haute Couture to Homemade, 1939-1945 by Geraldine Howell.

Text by Lize Römer

Library

Inspired by… History of Dutch textiles

cover When Weaving Florished

Recently the library has been supplemented with several books about the weaving, silk and coton industry in Holland, more specific Amsterdam and Haarlem.

One of them is the book of Sjoukje ColenbranderWhen Weaving Flourished: the silk industry in Amsterdam and Haarlem, 1585-1750. This book gives an impression of the little known subject of the flourishing silk industry in Holland and gives us a glimpse into the lives of those involved.

Silk is also an important topic in A History of Dutch Quilts by An Moonen. Moonen tells about the long tradition and gives a comprehensive insight of quilt making in Holland that has it’s oldest references out the 13th century.
To deepen your knowledge about Dutch textile even more you can also read the new study of Herman Kaptein: de Hollandse Textielnijverheid 1350-1600: conjunctuur en continuiteit. Also when you like to read more about textiles, try Susan Kay-Williams’: The Story of Colour in Textiles.

Text by Lize Römer

Library

1920s Fashion The Definitive Sourcebook

The MoMu library just received 3 beautiful books written and edited by Charlotte Fiell and Emmanuelle Dirix: three ‘Definitive Sourcebooks’ on 1920s, 1930s and 1940s fashion.

Emmanuelle Dirix is a long-time collaborator, researcher and curator for MoMu and teaches fashion history in London (LCF, CSM) as well as at Antwerp’s fashion department.

The three books contain a critical text on the fashions and defining events of these decades which influenced fashion. The 600+ fashion plates and images illustrate very thoroughly the fashion changes over the years, the representation of women and the use of materials and techniques by different designers and fashion houses.

20sFashion21

As one can imagine, these 3 decades have seen major changes in society as well as in fashion. In the first book on the fashions of the Roaring Twenties, Dirix debunks the myth that all of Europe was dressed as the typical ‘flapper girls’ and shows how the 1920S brought about major changes in society which were reflected in easier, democratized fashions for these new types of working women. Coco Chanel’s “pauvre chic” gets some attention as well as the evolution in European couture houses and the copies of Parisian fashions abroad. The influence of sportswear on high fashion is visible in the fashion plates of the time. The image plates are divided into daywear, evening wear, outerwear and the typical 1920s accessories such as boas and hats.
The images in this book are a true feast for the eye!

Behind the scenes, Collection, Press&PR

A tour at the MoMu Archives for Opening Ceremony

MoMu - Fashion Museum province of Antwerp archives of the MoMu collection, Photo: Senne Van der Ven for OC

MoMu – Fashion Museum province of Antwerp archives of the MoMu collection, Photo: Senne Van der Ven for OC

This year Opening Ceremony is celebrating all things Belgium and paid an exclusive visit to the the MoMu Archives together with Wim Mertens, curator of the MoMu collection, check out the report here!

Press&PR

MOMU IN VOGUE USA

Kaat Debo, director MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp in Vogue USA

Kaat Debo, director MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp in Vogue USA

We are very proud to be featured in the November issue of Vogue USA!

The magazine dedicated an article on young European fashion museum and curators. “Kaat Debo leads the next generation of curators redefining fashion museum worldwide.”

Exhibition

HBDA Scenography & Dolls

50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department Exhibition and Dolls from MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp on Vimeo.

Check out this video shot at the opening of the ’50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department’ exhibition and mixed with the custom-made Bonami mannequins.

Exhibition, Press&PR

Bonami for Happy Birthday Dear Academie

Custom-made mannequins by BONAMI exclusively made for the expo 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Custom-made mannequins by BONAMI exclusively made for the expo 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

The current exhibition Happy Birthday Dear Academie radiates a unique atmosphere, created as well by the custom made ‘mannequin’ dolls exclusively manufactured for the exhibition by the Belgian company BONAMI from Aalter, who are world renowned for their innovative mannequins.

(c) Photo: BONAMI

(c) Photo: BONAMI

By means of four different themes in the exhibition (Arcadia, Nirvana, Desire & Harmony/Protest), gathering the graduation projects of different generations of students an image emerges of the Antwerp Fashion Department’s unique training program as an artistic cocoon. Co-curator and scenographer Walter Van Beirendonck chose 4 pastel colours to match with the themes which were applied on the exhibitions walls and also on the BONAMI dolls.

(c) Photo: BONAMI

(c) Photo: BONAMI

(c) Photo: BONAMI

(c) Photo: BONAMI

In terms of authentic display figures and visual displays, Mannequins BONAMI has been an established name since 1987 and managed to build an international reputation on every continent: from Tokyo to New York, from Sydney to Paris. Nowadays over 80% of its turnover is generated abroad.

(c) Photo: BONAMI

(c) Photo: BONAMI

Bonami develops its own creations for different markets, and in addition, it designs custom-made products for larger client groups. This way, the client is involved at all times, from the prior brainstorming sessions to the creation itself, the first prototype, the finishing, the delivery to the shop, and the subsequent follow-up. This continuous collaboration and the direct communication with artistic directors, photographers, in-house sculptors & designers indeed ensure that BONAMI’s mannequins exceed clients’ expectations and increase their fashion brand’s international visibility.

Custom-made mannequins by BONAMI exclusively made for the expo 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

Custom-made mannequins by BONAMI exclusively made for the expo 50 Years Antwerp Fashion Department, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

From its renewed showroom in Aalter, BONAMI wishes to inspire every fashion company in Belgium and in the rest of the world.