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MoMu Fashion Museum in Antwerp

This blog features posts from the various departments at the MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp who share their insights on the Museum's working, exhibitions and projects. MoMu is located in the centre of the Antwerp fashion district. Every year, the museum organises two thematic exhibitions, along with workshops, guided tours,...
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MoMu in Brazil – Part 3

MAC Museum by Oscar Niemeyer in Rio

The last day in Rio I visited the MAC Niteroi Museum designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Belgian artist Charif Benhelima was showing his Polaroids exhibition there, curated by Christophe De Jaeger from Bozar in Brussels. The museum s impressive structure and architecture worked well with the show.
Daily surreal walk to the office across the roof for the textiles conservator

Daily surreal walk to the office across the roof for the textiles conservator

On arrival in São Paulo I got a technical visit at the textiles department of the Paulista Museum which is located in a neoclassical park with a great view of São Paulo. Because of renovation works the offices were located in a room across the roof from the main building. Quite surreal but a nice view!
I saw some of the objects that contained many different cultural heritages from Africa to Europe and Latin America.
Exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in Casa Bo Bardi featured this artwork by Olafur Eliasson

Exhibition curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist in Casa Bo Bardi featured this artwork by Olafur Eliasson
Daily architecture digest: visit to Casa Lina Bo Bardi

Daily architecture digest: visit to Casa Lina Bo Bardi

Then we visited the glass house of architect Lina Bo Bardi where the exhibition ‘the insides are outside’ curated by Hans Ulrich Obrichst showed a great amalgam of contemporary artists united with the atmosphere of the house. Very impressive.

Final lecture in Centro Cultural do banco do Brasil in São Paulo , organised by dr Cristiane Mesquita from Zigue Zague talks

The last lecture of this tour was in the Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil São Paulo, a beautiful building downtown São Paulo. Organised by dr Cristina Mesquita from the Zigue Zague talks on creativity, it was a pleasant experience, many ‘Paulistanas’ came to listen and the questions round took more than an hour. Very inspiring to see so many interested, creative and critical people together.

This was the last stop of the tour, I will follow Brazilian fashion from up close after seeing so many inspiring shows!

MoMu in Brazil – part 2

In Rio I was invited by a few organizations to lecture in the beautiful arts school of Parque Lage. The building looked like the Antwerp Academy but it’s located in the jungle! Luisa Marcier, director of the Rio Fashion Museum which opens in 2014 kindly introduced me to the crowd. It was a lively evening with a lot of debate on the future of Brazilian fashion. Today we’ll see some shows at Rio Fashion Week. But first off to the Copacabana!

Europeana Fashion Conference in Florence

MoMu past and present meet at the Europeana Fashion Conference in Florence! Linda Loppa is the founder and former director of MoMu whose legacy is still part of MoMu today! Currently the director of Polimoda in Milan, Linda joins MoMu’s current director Kaat Debo at the conference to discuss the future of fashion museums and fashion education.

MoMu in Brazil

The first part of my Brazilian tour of fashion conferences is now finished. The Brazilian organization Senac Ceara kindly invited me to open Dragaõ Fashion Week in Fortaleza, in the north of Brazil. It was great to speak in front of so many fashion enthusiasts who knew a lot about Antwerp fashion!
Attending the local fashion week it was interesting to see how every fashion hub around the world puts their own identity into their shows. The local crafts and techniques are integrated into the catwalk silhouettes blending old and new materials. Apart from the fashion activities we visit the beach everyday, coconut water and caïpirinhas, caïpiguavas and caïpiwiki form a fixed feature on the menu!

Happy anniversary Bulo!

Bulo is celebrating its 50th anniversary and for this occasion the Belgian furniture manufacturer has built the O Mr. President, a limited edition piece of furniture suitable for every age and sustainable for at least 50 years.

O Mr. President encourages innovation and entrepreneurship, and reminds us to play and experiment creatively! MoMu is honoured to be part of this celebration and from April 16th until 28th, this exclusive piece will be presented in the entrance hall of the museum. Make sure to stop by and take a look at this amazing furniture concept!

Black is black

We are very happy that Katleen Derijcke, one of our guides at MoMu was featured in DS Magazine, weekend supplement of the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. Katleen was part of a series on people that always wear black.

Katleen Derijcke: ‘Some time ago I combined black with dark blue. I picked this up from the Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto when he visited Antwerp for his ‘Dreamshop’ exhibition at MoMu, when he was wearing a dark blue coat and black pants. So I bought a dark blue gilet and sweater. But after that I put them in the washing machine with black paint. I actually always have a box of black textile paint in my house. I just love to wear black: it’s timeless. Ans since I started wearing black I also wear out my clothing.’

Unlock a reduction on 4sqDay!

On Tuesday April 16th, Foursquare fans around the world celebrate 4sqDay. To mark this occasion, MoMu is happy to offer a 4sqDay special! Visit MoMu and check in on Foursquare to unlock the reduction rate for the current exhibition ‘Silks and Prints from the Abraham Archive: Couture in Colour‘. Don’t forget to share your pictures of the exhibition with #momuantwerp and #4sqday!

The Chanel Legend at the Draiflessen Collection in Mettingen

“Fashion passes, style remains” is a famous quote by the historic fashion designer and entrepreneur Coco Chanel. With the exhibition ‘The Chanel Legend’ the Draiflessen Collection tackles the question why Coco Chanel has never yet ceased to arouse such great interest both as a person and as the brand she founded. Her biography and image – created by the fashion designer for herself – have helped to form this legend, but it is above all her creations that not only influenced a brief phase in fashion but actually became a style – a style that has constantly been re-interpreted until today, aslo by her celebrated successor Karl Lagerfeld.

More than 70 creations from the House of Chanel are on show, but the spotlight will also be on the extraordinary number of adaptations and variations of her fashions, reflecting the energy of her trend-setting designs of the ‘little black dress‘ and the ‘Chanel costume’. These are ubiquitous and irrevocably linked to her personality – not least because of the cleverly staged portraits of her by photographers such as Man Ray and Douglas Kirkland.
Curated by Maria Spitz in collaboration with Angela Völker, Vienna, the exhibition is showing around 150 objects from renowned international collections, including the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (Applied Arts) Hamburg, the Musée Galliera in Paris, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto and also the MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp.
MoMu has loaned three black dresses from the 1960s, a black dress by Hussein Chalayan and a Chanel tailleur donated by H.R.H. Queen Paola from Belgium, all featuring our MoMu Collection.

The exhibition ‘The Chanel Legend’ will run from April 6th until July 7th at the Draiflessen Collection in Mettingen and will also be shown in the Gemeentemuseum The Hague in autumn/winter 2013-2014.

Abraham, Christian Dior and roses.

Abraham Ltd. worked with many of the great couturiers. The list of its customers therefore reads like a who’s who in the world of international couture. It was Gustav Zumsteg who in the 1940s made the first tentative contacts with fashion designers, some of whom would become lifelong friends. The four names that are now inextricably linked to Abraham Ltd. are Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Yet Pierre Balmain, Nina Ricci, and Pierre Cardin also played an important role.
When Christian Dior launched his own house after the Second World War, he created an instant success with the New Look, ending the austerity looks of the war and giving women around the world a new hourglass silhouette to wear and to copy. The luxurious and elegant Dior haute couture styles were a good match with the high quality silks of Abraham and the collaboration between the two men in the 1950s was very important for both companies. Many of Christian Dior’s most successful looks were created with floral prints from the Abraham collections. When Christian Dior died unexpectedly in 1957, his successor Yves Saint Laurent continued the collaboration with Abraham.
Flowers, and especially roses, reign supreme on Abraham’s fabrics. The variations on this theme know no bounds, ranging from naturalistic bouquets to abstract, larger-than-life rose blossoms. This assured Abraham its place among the world’s great textile companies. Flowers are by far the most common recurring motif at Abraham.

Klara Day

On April 6th, we welcomed the winners of our Klara contest. About thirty adults and twenty children enjoyed a breakfast and a guided tour at our current exhibition. The children participated in a workshop where they made prints themselves through stamping, and a guided tour with several fun assignments. At the end everybody received a MoMu goodie-bag! We hope the winners had a great time!

Photo: Phedra De Backer

Chitchatting with our volunteer Maria Sermeus

Museumpeil, a journal for museum employees in Flanders and the Netherlands, featured a splendid article on our very own volunteer Maria Sermeus.

Maria Sermeus has been working as a volunteer in MoMu for one day a week since 2003. After finding her grandmother’s gorgeous black lace dress, she decided to contact MoMu and present the garment as a gift to our museum. Much to her surprise, the collection manager of MoMu was not interested in the dress but showed enthusiasm for other items that did not caught Maria’s initial attention. With this first contact, Maria started to work behind the scenes and helped our costume department and library team.

Her tasks include sewing inventory numbers, arranging accessories and objects, wrapping up historical books and many more. Maria does not find her volunteer work in the museum spectacular and humbly says: “It is only the small things”. By working with the specialists, she has learned tons about preserving museum objects and its materials, techniques and methods.

When asked for how long she still wants to work as a volunteer in MoMu, Maria answers that she might be here for another ten years. She feels that she is a part of the museum and enjoys the teamwork and the company of her colleagues. Her job might seems to contain of small and simple tasks. Nevertheless, they are invaluably important and many generations will still find tracks of her work in the collection.

Based on “Kleine dingskes. Over de onvervangbare inzet van de vrijwilliger” by Griet Kockelkoren Faro, Museumpeil, Nr 33, 2010.

De Invasie at MoMu

Installation by De Invasie in the entrance hall of MoMu, 2013, Photo: Monica Ho

During #DIVA, a platform project by De Invasie (The Invasion), young designers from various disciplines (graphics, design, fashion, movie,…) get the opportunity to present and sell their work. This time De Invasie takes place in Antwerp with over 70 young, creative warriors ‘putting up camp’ in the centre of the city at the former Ethnographic museum at Suikerrui 19 on Saturday March 23rd and Sunday March 24th.

Installation by De Invasie in the entrance hall of MoMu, 2013, Photo: Monica Ho

In collaboration with De Invasie, MoMu selected two graphic warriors: Matthias Phlips and Laura Bergans to present their work on the walls of our entrance hall until Sunday March 24th. They came up with an installation with posters with their works. Laura has drawn her inspiration from Henri Matisse, a French artist known for his use of colors and bold patterns. She used his patterns and added her own twist on it. Mathias played with the idea of returning patterns and shapes: ‘I started to draw without thinking and created my own patterns.’

Mathias Phlips and Laura Bergnans setting up their installation fro De Invasie in the entrance hall of MoMu, 2013, Photo: Monica Ho

Planning to visit #DIVA? Then you can visit our exhibition ‘Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archive: Couture in Colour’ for free on Sunday, March 24th! Find your free entrance card at De Invasie!