Montag, 18. Februar 2013

research review #1: ANTWERP

After being "on the road" for nearly one week, I started to sort my mind as well as to organize the impressions I got through it. Seeing as well as visiting impressive, established places was just a fantastic and  great experience. 

Finally I got the chance to visit Antwerp. This friendly, compact city, with lots of amazing fashion as well as design stores (shoes, interior stores, etc.) in the fashion district De Modewijk around the Nationalestraat and Kammenstraat. I was just around in that area and on the big shopping street, where nearly all the high-street fashion brands are located. It was pretty interesting to do just window-shopping, because lots of the shops or boutiques delivered great display as well as design ideas.

impressions from 3 days at Antwerp
(images: Wukovits 2013)
Not just the stores and fashion delivered me a good range of inspiration, also the architecture of the beautiful buildings. Antwerp is a quite tidy and well preserved city, so I rarely couldn´t find any patina-structures, but those I found where really beautiful and inspiring. For me Antwerp was a bit too clean and tidy, although the buildings are quite 'romantic' and with lots of details on them. Now I kind of understand the cleanness/coolness of Belgian fashion design – maybe it comes from this city.

I hoped to find some inspirations in the antique stores, but the only inspiring thing where to porcelain Madonnas in a window of an antique store. An exciting place was the Ra – Concept store, where really funky stuff is sold, like unusual materials and patterns for jackets and jumpsuits. A surprise delivered me the sales area on the upstairs floor, where I found four garments from the collection I worked on for Austrian fashion designer Ute Ploier.

On the last day I as well visited the 'Het Modepaleis' in which Dries van Noten´s flagship store is located. A fantastic store, whichs interior-design reminds me a bit of the old K&K stores in Vienna. Van Noten´s work has always fascinated me, but I never took any inspiration from it. Maybe I was too young when I started to be interested in his work and didn´t research the broader context of his work and just always looked at the visual side of his fashion. I still love his mixture of different types of pattern, which I never believed could go together, as well as the broad range of styles he delivers, from casual to evening wear. I quite like his menswear, which is, although being quite smart and traditional-tailored, always added with a kind of innovation and something extraordinary, like unusual shoes or accessories. The fact, that Dries van Noten is mixing traditional tailoring with innovative items, is an interesting aspect for me. 

I think that Antwerp has a lot to offer for people who work in fashion and design business. For me personally it wasn´t the big 'wow-inspiration-effect', but I visited a fantastic Madame Grès exhibition at the MoMu (my main inspiration), had a nice time with my friends and thankfully a fantastic Antwerp-guide, who showed us some really good shops, cafés/bars and restaurant! It was a pity that I didn´t visit the Ann Demeulemeester store as well as I had not that much time to see more places in the city. Maybe a reason to return to this beautiful place... 

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