Tag Archives: Abraham Archive

Abraham photo studio

The Abraham Archive also houses 2,600 fashion plates. These tell us not only which couturiers worked with Abraham fabrics, but also what they did with them. What the plates also illustrate is how fashion photography, images of women, and ideals of beauty changed over the years. The collection begins with black-and-white plates showing the extremely […]

Abraham in black and white

Black and white must be the most popular colour combination of all time. The interaction of positive and negative, the alternating dominance of black and white, the simplicity — the variety is astounding. Dots, circles, loops, and knotted lines are among the motifs that recur over the decades.

Swatchbooks from Lyon

The swatchbooks featured in the exhibition ‘Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive – Couture in Colour’ were produced in Lyon between 1830 to 1914. There are 227 of them in the Abraham Archive, all of them purchased by Gustav Zumsteg, who gave them a proud place on the company’s bookshelves. Adding them to the […]

Hubert de Givenchy & Abraham

The fashion plates of the winter collection 1956–57, preserved in the Abraham Archive, provide a graphic record of the early days of Hubert de Givenchy’s collaboration with Abraham Ltd. The name of Givenchy, whose great hero and mentor was Cristóbal Balenciaga, has become inextricably linked to two of the women he clothed: Audrey Hepburn and […]

Cristobal Balenciaga & Abraham

Characteristic of Balenciaga’s creations is their sculpted, architectural quality. The perfect material for this was gazar, a crisp, semi-sheer etamine fabric that was a specialty of Abraham Ltd. After struggling to adjust to the emergence of prêt-à-porter and slow but steady decline in the demand for haute couture, Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his fashion house in […]

Abraham Archives, a choice of over 700 fabrics

In 1955, Abraham Ltd. decided that “every season, four meters of each of the most beautiful five to ten articles will be cut off and preserved in a suitable form.” This collection of the most beautiful textiles was referred to inside the company as the ‘Museum’. By 1997, it contained 700 coupons or lengths of […]

Reopening Nationalestraat this Saturday!

This Saturday from 11AM until 5PM, the Nationalestraat and its shops celebrate the reopening of the street with a series of performances, fashion mobs, street theatre, etc.. Full program me via dna.be/nationalestraat Join us for this festive occasion! On Saturday, visitors will be treated with free entrance to the exhibition ‘Silks & Prints from the […]

Yves Saint Laurent, Abraham and animal prints

Gustav Zumsteg’s first meeting with Yves Saint Laurent, at the funeral of Christian Dior in 1957, marked the beginning of a lifelong friendship. The two men’s business ties also lasted several decades, their unparalleled collaboration benefiting greatly from the fact that they were kindred spirits. Yves Saint Laurent’s last haute couture collection of 2002 coincided […]

Abraham Revisited

Could the Abraham Archive be a pointer to the future? Five contemporary fashion designers (Akris, Peter Pilotto, Diane von Furtsenberg, Dries Van Noten and Heinrich Brambilla), well-known for their exceptional use of prints, to peruse the textiles in the Abraham Archive and select those that impressed them most or best suited their personal fashion concept. […]


The sixties and seventies was an era of great optimism which saw the emergence of a new way of looking at the world. Fashion was now an expression of unbridled joie de vivre. Large designs were en vogue and Abraham Ltd. had mastered the art of the blow-up as had no other. gigantic flowers exploded […]