Collection, Exhibition

Dreamsuits by Bobbejaan & Josée Schoepen

MoMu Now - Contemporary Fashion from the MoMu Collection, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

MoMu Now – Contemporary Fashion from the MoMu Collection, Photo: Boy Kortekaas

You can see two outfits by the American ‘Rodeo Tailor’ Nudie Cohn in the exhibition MoMu Now, which were made for and worn by the Belgian music icon, entertainer and theme park owner Bobbejaan Schoepen and his wife Josée. Bobbejaan and Josée Schoepen wore these sparkling outfits for their music gigs at the Bobbejaanland theme park in the North of Antwerp in the 1970s. The typical ‘rhinestone cowboy’ look was initiated and brought to perfection by cult designer Nudie Cohn who made iconic outfits for stars like Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Gram Parsons and Hank Williams. Bobbejaan was a lifelong customer and dear friend of Nudie Cohn and had the largest European collection of Nudie Cohn suits, as well as other designs like saddles, hats, a Cadillac and other objects.

Recently, after Bobbejaan died in 2010, the Schoepen family decided to bring the whole private Nudie Cohn clothing collection into the custody of MoMu, where they are kept in storage.
MoMu focuses in its collection policy mostly on Belgian designers, but also on iconic Belgians who have amazing private designer collections. The long-term loan of the Schoepen family is hence part of the recent acquisitions and can be seen in MoMu Now. This way, the memory of Bobbejaan and Josée Schoepen is still alive today and kept safe for tomorrow.

Nudie Cohn’s silhouettes have recently been rediscovered by the international fashion community, and for the 2011 exhibition ‘Dreamsuits: designs by Nudie Cohn, the Rodeo tailor’ curated by Mairi Mackenzie , Alice Hawkins from SHOWStudio made a great fashion film with Bobbejaan Schoepen’s dreamsuits worn by contemporary music icons.