A New Fashion Exhibit Explores the Mysterious Belgian DNA

Expect the unexpected in an upcoming fashion exhibit in Brussels. It says so right in the show’s title, The Belgians: An Unexpected Fashion Story. Nor should you expect the scope to be limited on the famed Antwerp Six, the group of Antwerp fashion students — Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee — who rocked and continue to rock the establishment, even if some of them are now, 30 years later, retiring.

Curator Didier Vervaeren has assembled a roster of roughly one hundred designers, ranging from established rule-breakers Martin Margiela and Raf Simons to wunderkinds Christophe Coppens, Eric Baudouin, Bruno Pieters, Katrien Van Hecke, and KRJST. He’s also found room for Haider Ackermann, Olivier Theyskens, AF Vandevorst, and Jan-Jan Van Essche. Honorable mention goes to Norine De Schrijver, who, founding her maison in the 1920s, was the first modern Belgian designer with a taste for the haute surreal.

The Belgians: An Unexpected Fashion Story, June 5 – September 13, 2015, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium

Ann Demeulemeester

Nirvana wearing Dries Van Noten’s first collection (1993) in Mademoiselle


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Christophe Coppens

Eric Beauduin

Raf Simons


Martin Margiela

Dirk Van Saene

Walter Van Beirendonck

Olivier Theyskens

AF Vandevorst

Maison Norine

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