Sunday, 17 November 2013

Visit: Happy Birthday Dear Academie

Last Wednesday, I (finally) visited the 'Happy Birthday Dear Academie' exhibition at the Antwerp
Fashion Museum. The fashion education of the Royal Academy for Fine Arts turns 50 years, and this has to be celebrated of course! This exposition is completely dedicated to the fashion department. It has been opened quite some time ago (8/09), but I didn't find the time to go until now. The exposition will be open until the 16th of February 2014.
This exhibition offers an overview of all the different aspects of the fashion education: the methods, illustrations, the annual Fashion Shows, lots of silhouettes and of course the upswing and friendship of the famous Antwerp Six and Martin Margiela.

The exposition starts with a kind of timeline where the history of the fashion department is shortly described with lots of screens, videos and pictures.

After that, the tour around the exposition rooms started. There are several rooms, all with a different theme: Arcadia, Nirvana, Desire and Harmony/Protest. In these rooms were shown the silhouettes, clothes and accessoires the students made for their graduation collections.

'Powerbird' by Manon Kundig, 2012 

Fluffy table gear by Hye In Seo, 2013
Lluis Corujo, Tim Van Steenbergen and Peter Pilotto
Crazy ass amazingly constructed silhouette by Kanya Miki, 2002
Shoes made  of massive white metal, I feel sorry for the model who had to wear these, but they are so gorgeous!
 Niklaus Hodel, 2011
There were also pieces to be seen that designers made after they left the school and started a career, label and brand, such as A.F. Vandevorst, Dries Van Noten, Peter Pilotto and Christian Wijnants. I found it amazing to see those almost iconic pieces in real, they really breath the designers' style.

Peter Pilotto 
Christian Wijnants (I am utterly in love with his knitwear, and I wouldn't hesitate if I ever had a chance to wear a piece he made. dreaming)
Next to that, there was a huge, impressive wall full of sketches and drawings the students made throughout the years, and I must say I am really surprised by the versatility the students have to show: they have to be good at everything, just a great idea or an amazing design simply isn't good enough.  

One of the final parts of the exposition was a huge tribute to the Antwerp Six and Martin Margiela. They kind of had their own corner, which they really deserve of course. 

The very end of the show was this weird looking silhouette that stood all alone. I first didn't have a clue about what is was, until... 


Speaking of drama... Quite a show-stopper, right?

I really had a blast visiting this amazing museum, I now have a better view on how the whole thing works and my respect for the fashion students just has risen to the top. If you find the time to visit this exposition, please do, you won't be deceived! Also, for people below the age of 26, the entrance fee is only 1 euro, for people above 26 years, the price is 8 euros (still a bargain). So why hesitating? 

Have you already visited this exposition? What did you think?
Thank you for reading!

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