You may have heard that Paris, Milan, Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, and London are all major fashion hubs in Europe. What you may not know is that Antwerp is home to six of the most famous influential avant garde fashion designers in the world. They’re actually called the Antwerp Six, and they graduated from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts between the years 1980 and 1981. They participated in the radical fashion movement that established Antwerp as a growing city for style and culture in the 1980’s. The designers include Dries Van Noten, Dirk Can Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee, Ann Demeulemeester, and Walter Van Beirendonck.
Now that we’ve gotten some straight facts out of the way, its time to talk more seriously about one of these designers.
Walter Van Beirendonck
Now the fashion director at the Royal Academy, and he’s made it a priority to continue promoting new designers in the Belgian fashion and art scene. Think unusual shapes and patterns that speak to more than just a cool outfit. These designers want to innovate a new way of thinking about artistic clothing, but they make it accessible. This isn’t all runway fashion that seems so hard to replicate, it’s for the regular people. It’s an artistic statement just as much as it is a mode of self-expression.
Here are two of the upcoming designers that Walter Van Beirendonck wants to become more prominent.
Korean designer Minju Kim takes inspiration from her culture and random spurts of excitement in her everyday that culminate in very specific collections surrounding a certain theme. Take the time when she was watching Wicked and discovered the basis for her collection Be Cover ’13. She was taken with the idea that the green witch of Oz was only discriminated against because she was green. This idea became a foundation for playing with volumes, shapes, silhouettes, and textures.
Manga and adorable robotics motivate her previous collections, so she is definitely worth following. See Minju Kim’s collections on her website here: http://www.minju-kim.com/love-power11/
A true style radical, Cammarosano defies the status-quo and believes that every dumpy street corner is a fertile workplace for creativity. The collections revolve around a single theme, and each one doesn’t vary much, but the idea is highly represented in every collection.
Her work is slightly haunting, and ethereal, as if the models were of another universe. In particular, her spring/summer 2014 collection is versatile, and can change with the season or temperature, reminding us of our animal nature.