De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

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De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:08 pm

In 1981 the Minister of Economic Business, Willy Claes developed the "Textielplan". It is aim was to support the textile industry as much as possible. They gave financial help to weak companies and make them less vulnerable from big designer companies abroad.

Against this background HELENA RAVIJST initiated Mode dit is Belgisch (Fashion this is Belgian). The combination of the words fashion and Belgian in one sentence was a first, and symbolised a clear cut with the past. Almost overnight she helped Belgium to establish a fashion-scene.

Because Belgian Fashion labels were not that successful Belgian designers invented French, English and Italian names, such as Anvers, Scapa of Schotland, Donaldson and Olivier Strelli. The concept of "Mode, dit is Belgisch" was taken over by Knack and Le vif/L'express.

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In 1982 the ITCB organised the first "Golden Spindle Contest". Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Martin Margiela, Walter van Beirendonck, Marina Yee and Dries van Noten won numerous prizes. One year later the contest had already grown to a real fashion show with an international jury.

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Soon after graduating, Margiela was hired to work for Jean Paul Gaultier (1985 - 1987) leaving the Antwerp Six.

The question remains why they are called the Antwerp Six. Actually it was the British press who coined the phrase. In 1986 the six Antwerp designers went to London for the first time to the British Designer Show. They hired an enormous truck and stayed on a camp site. The little money they had was entirely spent on publicity. Their designs were extremely popular beyond all expectation. The British press was also very enthusiastic, but they could not pronounce nor spell the names of the Antwerp designers. So soon the first articles about “the Antwerp six” appeared in the press. Moreover at that time there was a vogue in the press for naming criminals the 'Moaist Gang of Four' in China or the 'Guildford Five' accused of Irish terrorism. This has echoes of famous children books dating from the fifties such as the Legendary Enid Blyton 'Famous Five' and 'Secret Seven' adventure series.
This makes clear why we they are known as “the Antwerp Six”.


Elle USA, 3rd May 1988

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Fashion designers don't usually come in six-packs, especially when they are such extremely different flavors. But then again, fashion designers don't usually come from Antwerp, Belgium.

Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulermeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee and Dirk Bikkenbergs are all between 29 and 31 years old. They all studied at the same school: Antwerp's stodgy Royal Academy of Fine Arts. And each produces under his or her own name a line of clothes as idiosyncratic and original as the personality behind it.

Ambitious Dries Van Noten has been tagged an "authentic Ralph Lauren"; he has a budding commercial empire of women's, men's and children's wear, and shoes based on classic shapes ignited by colorful print and color mixes. Ann Demeulermeester is a purist; her work is for sensitive intellectuals who appreciate her ultrasimple yet sophisticated taste. Dirk Van Saene condenses his nostalgic love of great women from Katharine Hepburn to Sixties model Penelope Tree down to crystalline collections of classic shapes with a dash of madness. Walter Van Beirendonck is the fashion equivalent of Pee-wee Herman, styling clothes for sweet eccentrics. The exotic Marina Yee dresses fashion pioneers who feel more comfortable in spike heels than in tennis shoes. And Dirk Bikkembergs, the first star of the group, is the cocky enfant terrible whose lace-up shoes and boots for men were copied around the world. He no does a whole line of active wear with a twist for men, though he has no control over women raiding his racks.

Even though such celebs as Basia, one of England's favorite jazz singers, and ex-Beatles Paul and Ringo have frequently been spotted in Antwerpian garb (and part of Bloomingdale's Paradox boutique will be devoted to Belgian designs this season) the Antwerp six are still often treated like Martians by store buyers in Milan and London. "Where do you come from?" is their common cry.

"We don't want to become a little Paris. We want to stick to Antwerp and keep our own image and spirit. We're lucky to be in the middle of everything. We get all the fashion magazines, test-market movies, and unregulated television from practically every country in Europe." raves Van Noton. He, like most of the other designers, speaks many languages fluently - English, French and Italian as well as his native tongue, Flemish.

At school, the designers were affected by rebellious fashion new waves, from Japan's atomic blast look to London's punks. The pioneering Antwerpians simple decided to make their own rules for their hometown. Crazy for "ambience," they've built little worlds around their collections, which they bring to life with an extraordinary sense of storytelling and humor. "I take all sorts of things, shake them up well like a cocktail and then pour them out," says Van Noten. His spring collection, Plain Tales from the Raj, lays on Victorian British colonials in India and combines bold color stripes, madras plaids and print mixes. "It's a bit decadent," he admits. So he plans a more austere winter collection of "part Amish-inspired, part working men and women in the Victorian age, and a bit hippies of the Sixties. I call it Not To Be Modern."

The idea that a single outfit is worth a thousand words is typical to the Antwerp style. Van Beirendonck, arguably the most outrageous of the group, reels off the elements of his collection - Jules Verne novels, Masai motifs, The Flintstones - with an intellectual fervor. "Fashion must always be funny," he says. Bikkenbergs went so far as to write a short story about his upcoming fall/winter collection with a Class of '78 motif. A class photo from the fictional St. John's College shows three seemingly innocent boys - Johnny, Roy, Karl - circled in red. Bikkembergs plans to "track down each boy to see how he dresses today. We could do a television spin-off," he cries excitedly. "I might have to call Steven Spielberg."

Still retained an admirable art-school zeal about their work, The Antwerpians passionately believe that a clothing collection can be in some way an artistic expression of personality and believes, and that a line of clothing, when looked at as a whole, can be "read" very much like an autobiographical work of art.

Take Demeulermeester: "I have a love/hate relationship with 'fashion.' In a way, I think it's stupid - this idea that you have to be changing all the time. I don't do black because it's in. I do it because it's one of my favourite colors." Her deeply personal approach means that "my clothing has a logical evolution." And if something doesn't feel right to me it doesn't go in the line no matter how much it might sell." Van Saene agrees. When asked about a licensing empire he shrugs nonchalantly, "Why not?" But he's in no hurry to enlarge his small line for the sake of profit.

"Popularity is not necessarily good for a fashion designer," says Yee, who divides her work into the moderately priced Marie line and a more expensive group, under her full name, of special clothes "that not everyone will want to buy." She is the restless nightbird in the gang, the type who doesn't have any idea how much admittance to a club costs because she has never in her life paid to get in.

"The thing about us is that we all have certain things we like and we work on them like children," she says. "We're running and running, as if there's something bothering us - because we're from Antwerp. We have something to prove."

Bikkenbergs believes that "it's precisely because we have no roots that we're different. Here, we do whatever we want; we look everywhere. Europe is becoming one big country. We don't want to be labeled 'Antwerpian designers.' A simple 'European' will do."


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Left to right: Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Ann Demeulermeester (Dirk Bikkembergs was in China)

Sources:

http://www.kuleuven.ac.be/iccp/2003/iccp11/history.htm

6+ Antwerpse Mode - Barbara Vinken, Cathy Horin, Caroline Evans, Kaat Debo, Geert Bruloot - 2007
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Last edited by Syeknom on Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby germinal » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:18 pm

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i shall take some photos/scans and lift some of the articles from ^this when i have time
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:19 pm

Please do!
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Thu Aug 08, 2013 6:42 am

Stephan Schneider

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Born in Duisburg, Germany (1969), but studied at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts where he graduated top of his class in 1994. This won him the opportunity to present at the fashion week in Paris which got his label off to a great start.

In 1996 he opened his shop in Antwerp. It's a really tiny little thing on Reyndersstraat - just a small room and one changing room. Stock is kept in an attic above and cellar below. Secret drawers contain treats such as scarves, lookbooks and the register.

Since 2007 Stephan Schneider is professor at the Fashion Department of the Berlin University of Fine Arts. He resides and designs in Antwerp but commutes in to Berlin to teach.

Interview with the Goethe Institut

„Unfortunately, for Fashion Designers, Bestsellers are Taboo”: an Interview with Stephan Schneider

With his straightforward style and top-quality ready-to-wear line, this fashion designer has created a label that is in demand internationally. He was appointed Professor of Fashion Design at the Berlin University of the Arts (Universität der Künste – UdK) in 2007. His students learn visionary thinking – which can also mean clothes made of clay.

Herr Schneider, how would you characterise current fashion design from Germany?

Stephan Schneider: A tough question, because in fashion one especially feels how our society is being globalised – and that is why I love it. Is Yves Saint Laurent a French fashion house or an Italian one, because it was bought by Gucci?

Please give it a try, anyway.

Right now, in my view, German fashion occupies a very important position in ready-to-wear. Major firms such as Boss, Windsor, Betty Barclay and Basler are the leading forces of German fashion internationally, top-quality firms that nonetheless do not present the face of a star designer that is then played up in the press. For me, designer fashion is ready-to-wear with the myth of a face. We Germans aren’t as skilled at displaying this face as the French, Italians or Americans are.

But there are a great many new, young designers in Germany.

Yes, there is much going on. In the 1990’s nothing was happening in new German fashion talent, and all of a sudden, in 2000, new names cropped up.

How does that come about?

It has to do with role-modelling. If one person starts up a label or a store, the next one does so, too. So a chain reaction started.

Do young German designers have things in common?

We are not dealing with an eccentric, wild kind of fashion, but with a very sober, functional, graphic approach to fashion instead, especially with the Berlin labels. Even the more way-out and unconventional labels such as Starstyling or Lala Berlin are still very graphic and concrete.

Why do young German labels sell better internationally than in their own country?

Compared internationally, not only we Germans, but we Europeans are the Sleeping Beauties of fashion. We like to potter in our own gardens or educate ourselves by going on trips. But things are different with the Koreans or Japanese. They are much more open to fashion. We are happy when we take a weekend trip to the Baltic, Japanese women are happy when they buy a dress at Wedel & Tiedeken.

In spite of this, it is still a notable event when a German designer makes it to Paris, London or Milan. Why?

Because these cities are established. To officially obtain a spot at the Paris Fashion Week, one has to elbow others out of their spot. And someone who has pulled this off – so the assumption – is persistent and talented.

You yourself studied in Antwerp. What made you decide to go to Belgium?

The Antwerp Six were my role-models. Back then, at the end of the Eighties, Dries van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester had just begun showing their collections. At that time, Paris was showing luxury fashion, established status symbols. But a fresh, new movement was emerging from Antwerp together with a youth culture, one that brought a very individual kind of fashion with it. That was what got me interested.

You hold a professorship in Berlin, but still live in Antwerp, which is also the headquarters of your label, Stephan Schneider.

I commute. My artistic roots are in Antwerp, and I have the good fortune that the manufacturers there experienced the success stories of Belgian designers themselves. They still work for people like Dries van Noten, and I can have my things produced there, too. In Antwerp, people believe in ready-to-wear as a business model.

You, too?

Nobody should be ashamed of working for C & A and designing a parka with a production run of 700,000. To me, that is exciting and it would be fun for me to give this parka an identity and an emotion. But unfortunately, for fashion designers, bestsellers are taboo.

Do you also view your own collection as top-quality ready-to-wear?

Yes, that is something I learned in Antwerp, too. There, practically nothing is made by hand by designers sitting in their studios; instead, everything is made professionally in a factory. Someone who sells 2000 pieces can’t make them all himself any more. That is a major difference with Berlin, where there is still a great deal of studio tailoring. These people are called “backyard designers,” which is charming, but is an obstacle as far as expanding one’s business is concerned.

Is that the reason why many German designers, even award-winners, fail to expand beyond a certain label size?

Let’s put it positively: Berlin is an exciting city with an abundantly high quality of life. In Antwerp, I have so few alternatives to my work that I work much harder.

Antwerp has a very professional atmosphere. Has that influenced you?

Right down to my choice of words. I never speak about my label, but about my company. My company has six employees, and I make a product with it. I produce 14,000 pieces of clothing per season, of which 70 percent pass through my hands. My customers are very critical and I have developed an unmistakeable signature – artistically as well – through my very disciplined and straightforward way of working.

You are Professor of Fashion Design at the University of the Arts in Berlin, together with two other professors. Are your students as straightforward as you?

In any case, you won’t find dreamers at the University of the Arts. The students are are sober and objective as a rule, and they work very autonomously and abstractly – I use that word 30 times a day here. People don’t check up on what the front of a trenchcoat looks like, which they ought to do; they just make up their own version of it. In spite of this, I have a high regard for this very autonomous way of approaching things.

What kind of profile does the University of the Arts in Berlin have?

For me the University of the Arts is a training centre for art directors, people who think in visionary terms and create a new target group for themselves with their thinking. Let’s say: my target group is the woman who in ten years will be wearing clothes made of clay. You might object that no one will ever want to carry around clay on her body. But who would have thought thirty years ago that all of us would be wearing running shoes? Visionary thinking in fashion often generates something that ends up functioning in reality, too.

Is visionary thinking at the centre of training at the university?

If you have a vision and enough passion, you can motivate pattern cutters to implement your design. One sentence that we often repeat is: you have to make us enthusiastic. An art director must inspire his team, and then the customers will be enthusiatic, too.

Your predecessor was Vivienne Westwood, an eccentric figure even in the colourful fashion scene.

It’s hard for students to develop confidence in themselves and their own style under such an eccentric, and to put it bluntly, dictatorial professor. We are seeking to provide the opposite, and say: the main thing is your own artistic signature.

Vivienne Westwood says that creativity can never be learned. What do you think?

I also don’t think that creativity can be learned. But I think that one can learn methods and strategies, and I have found that one can get ideas this way.

You are frequently a member of fashion award juries. How important is that for young labels?

Incredibly important. That’s how my own career began. In 1994 I won the Parliament of Fashion award and was given a stand in Paris during Fashion Week. I presented myself there with my graduation collection from Antwerp and attracted my first customers that way. That motivates one to make one’s start or to keep on. That is why I am very glad that we can award a prize for up-and-coming talent at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, together with Peek & Cloppenburg, now that Karstadt has withdrawn.

Should newcomers be shown together with the pros?

Absolutely. That is why the University of the Arts students do their show there every year.

How do you see the opportunities for new German designers?

The quality of training in Germany is very good. And German fashion designers are working everywhere, for Jil Sander, Margiela, Dries van Noten, Gucci. The world-class fashion houses are eager to hire graduates of German fashion academies because they work hard, have a good overall grasp of things, and are not flamboyant crazies.


Interview with Wrong Weather, March 2012

If you were not a fashion designer what you would be?

I often compare the work of a fashion designer to the one of a chef in a restaurant:

* select an exclusive quality of ingredients and respect them in the process of preparation

* offer a different menu but keep the level of taste stable

* keep the amount of tables limited and do not place them too close to each other

so if i ever stop fashion you can visit me in my restaurant!

You are well known for your signature weaving. how did it came about?

I don’t think of fashion as a status symbol but as garments with an emotion, a story and an atmosphere. to design most of the fabrics by myself is a way to keep my design language very personal and intimate. therefore every collection starts for me with the fabric story.

My designs are not loud and glamorous but I want my garments to be approached with basic human aspects like humor, curiosity and vanity.

I have no other choice than to design the fabrics by myself as I cannot find those fabrics.



All your clothes are produced locally. Why?

I try to eat local food, no chinese croissants or South American strawberries.

local production means daily communication to the sitching ladies and not having to make any compromises during the design process.

I use the same fabrics for men and ladies, pants and shirts, jackets and coats. I combine in one garment knit and woven, prints and jacquard…only local production allows me to do so.


What was your best collection so far.

I always like the latest i did the most. season after season I try to challenge myself to use a textile I have never used before or a color I dislike… the result of each collection still does surprise me and keeps me sharp.



Tell us why you live and work in Antwerp.

The antwerp designers are the only few in the world who build up internationally operating companies, but still keep on following their original signature from the very first moment they started their collection.

I am so not interested in fashion from the big brands of the luxurious industry. the only job of their designers is to leave a strong impression in the media in order to sell their licensed products like accessories and cosmetics. in this small city of antwerp i can work independently from sponsors or investors and work on my vision without having to make compromises in the design.

Tell us about your best experience as a teacher in Berlin.

i am proud that my graduates have developed their own signature during their four years of studies.last year two of my graduates, Mads Dinesen (http://www.madsdinesen.com) and Janosch Mallwitz (http://www.last-service.de) entered the Hyeres festival.

Julian Zigerli (http://www.julianzigerli.com) showed his graduation collection in Paris…in those moments I feel proud of my work as a teacher!

Which city, Antwerp or Berlin, influences you most?

living since more than 22 years in antwerp i am privileged to take part in the antwerp fashion phenomenon.

when I moved in 1990 to Antwerp to study fashion at the royal Academie of fine arts the antwerp designers were still underdogs in the international fashion business.

only after their first shows in paris the the early nineties Van Noten, Demeulemeester and Margiela became known to a wider audience. they served as a role model for the next generations of graduates from the Academie like me, to start a collection and present it in Paris.

I would like to motivate my graduates from the university of arts in Berlin to open the door of their ateliers and present their work internationally.

Berlin is authentic but not established which makes it so different from all other fashion capitals in the world.

in Berlin you don’t have to fight against any conservative players in the fashion establishment, but you have enough places to create your own position.

Any future plans you would like to share?

I am not so much interested into new projects. my definition of the term ‘quality’ is 'continuation with passion', therefore the continuation of my work is my most important plan for the future.


Collections

Each season Schneider works with a specific theme or small set of themes clearly indicated by the name given to each season. The clothing will frequently feature motifs from that theme and strong repetition of patterns, prints and fabrics making each collection quite self-contained.

Collection Archive

2006
AW Fantastic Fanfares
SS Cold As Ice

2007
AW You'll Allways [sic] Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties

2008
AW 07:42 AM
SS Paninero

2009
AW Moments Of Myths
SS Blank Billboards

2010
AW Furever
SS The Menu

2011
AW Frozen Waves
SS Collect

2012
AW From Rugs To Riches
SS Common Ivy

2013
AW At Both Ends
SS Marbles In Cans

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2014
Brick motif - not sure of the name

The current AW season - At Both Ends - features a strong candle motif throughout. A few pictures are release from the lookbook but not very many right now. Some retailers already have some pieces.

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(I'm not a big fan of this season so far)

Retailers

Wrong Weather, Lisbonp - good sale on SS13 still. Go pick up some of those scarves, they're ridiculously cheap.

Browns Fashion, London - a few excellent AW13 pieces.

Suspension Point, Montreal - excellent range of SS13 stuff on hardcore sale right now, currently a further 20% off the listed price with code EXTRA20.

Opening Ceremony - plenty of new AW13.

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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:26 am

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350th anniversary of the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp and the 50th anniversary of the Fashion Deparment that birthed the Six and others. Celebrated with an exhibition at the MoMu - Modemuseum Province Antwerp between September and February.

Without a doubt the Fashion Department is one of the most prestigious fashion design programmes worldwide. This fiftieth anniversary is the perfect opportunity for MoMu to dedicate an exhibition to the Fashion Department’s history and the success story of Antwerp fashion.

The exhibition will highlight various aspects of Antwerp fashion education during the first fifty years of its existence: the department’s specific curriculum and its education and evaluation methods, the importance of graphic design in fashion based on a rigorous selection of fashion illustrations, the various generations of students and their careers, the friendship and emergence of the 'Antwerp Six' (Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dirk Bikkembergs) and Martin Margiela, the graduation projects of some of the most noteworthy alumni and the catwalk shows at the end of the year. Based on various common themes in the graduation work of various generations of students this exhibition paints a picture of the programme as an artistic cocoon. Students are encouraged to achieve their utmost potential and expand their skills as well as developing an artistic signature on which they can build their future career. Using the graduation work and recent creations by alumni, photos, videos and graphic designs this exhibition illustrates how diverse the careers of the Academy’s alumni are and how this programme has left a mark on the international fashion world in the past decades.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby adhi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:35 pm

quick question:

what does graduating at the 'top of your class' at antwerp specifically entail? you had the highest grades? do they have gpa's or something similar?
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:32 am

I don't know about the academy specifically but in Belgian universities you get a mark out of 20 for each assignment/exam which go towards your overall marks for the class (weighted accordingly). These get aggregated into a final score (%) for the year/degree and the corresponding Latin honours. Graduating top of your class probably just means the highest marks out of the rest of your class/year (i.e. you got higher marks than everyone else).

American GPA stuff confuses me.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby hunnish » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:06 am

American GPA: every assignment is given a grade (either A, B, C, D, or F) with each corresponding to a numeric value (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0). The weight of these marks is determined by the importance of the assignment, as is done in any grading system, and the grades' point values are all averaged together with respect to weight. This determines your final GPA, which in a non-weighted curriculum will never exceed 4.0. Some schools use a weighted curriculum in which classes that are Honors or AP will be averaged differently in order to account for the increase in difficulty. This is what leads to some GPAs going as high as 5.0 (if the student took entirely advanced classes and received straight A's).
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby bels » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:10 am

I like the idea of weighted classes. I remember a lot of people avoiding certain classes because they were "hard"
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:32 am

I remember a lot of people avoiding them because the classes were at 8am or they were lazy, underachieving fucks (me)

Weighted courses seem like a good idea though, it's lame to scrape through categorically hard classes and breeze easier ones to come out with a pretty good score.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby hunnish » Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:42 am

Yeah, the only issue with that is courses that were Honors and courses that were AP were weighted the same amount above regular courses, despite that fact that an honors course is infinitely easier than AP and does not require a final exam in some cases. This lead to abuse in our school where some students took solely honors classes so that it would boost their GPA. The girl who is #6 in our class of 292 only took one AP course in Junior year and she nearly failed every test.

It's easy to fix but the school board is too stubborn.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:25 pm

Good Schneider stuff on Other Shop

How good are these?

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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby bels » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:38 pm

Sick

Modeontwerper is my new go to insult.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Wed Aug 14, 2013 5:45 pm

It's a devastating one!
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:24 am

Antwerp's 2013 Graduate Collections

For the 50th anniversary of the school all six of the Six were invited to sit on the jury for the graduate collections.

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Graduates:

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One of the students, Minju Kim, won the H&M Design Award for her collection "Dear My Friend"

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[youtube]?v=pAld7NzJFNA[/youtube]

In a beautiful illustration of her motto 'your hands never betray you', Minju Kim presents a womenswear collection combining handcrafts and new materials into stunning silhouettes. At the basis of the collection is the feeling Minju got whilst watching the movie 'Wicked', about the green witch of Oz, which is not a bad person but who is discriminated against because she is green. The beauty of the unexpected and the unknown is developed into girly garments that look like shiny plastic wrappers, playing with big circular volumes and see-through elements, mainly made out of raffia, plastic tweed, jacquards and rubber. One can fully take cover in one of the bulky voluminous silhouettes with candy wrapper sleeves, or show more of yourself in the tops and skirts made of rubber ribbons. The strong rubber is melted , twisted and kotted into sweet bows, all handstitched into fabulous see-through garments. Just like in the 1st year of the Antwerp fashion education, Minju digged deeper into handwork, volumes, body shapes and time-consuming experiments, in order to get the best possible approach for this deceivingly sweet collection.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby sknss » Sat Aug 17, 2013 4:38 pm

Walter Van Beirendonck

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hapsical wrote:Acid house techno cyborg disco geisha bears. Clashing colours, ethnic prints, straight-out-of-a-video-game shapes, sci-fi obsession, holographic finish, high-tech synthetics. “KISS THE FUTURE! FUCK THE PAST!” The wild world of Walter Van Beirendonck is an exuberant place, where outrageous styling and upbeat shows are underlined by serious messages, and serious talent on the part of the designer himself – something which is being celebrated by Antwerp’s Fashion Museum as an exhibition opens next week exploring 25 years of output from Walter Van Beirendonck’s eponymous line.

Van Beirendonck studied fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, before showing his first collection in 1983, as part of the ‘Antwerp six’ along with Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester and Marina Yee. What set Van Beirendonck’s work apart, not just from that of his fellow Belgian designers, but also from the prevailing moods in fashion at the time (the over the top glamour of Parisian couture, and the dark deconstructivism of the emerging Japanese school) was its light-heartedness and humour, combined with the designer’s bold visual statements and judicious use of colour and pattern. Van Beirendonck’s collections played on political messages about the environment, society and safe sex, while remaining optimistic, joyous and unerringly upbeat. If Rei Kawakubo’s counter-culture approach was to make everything dark, and perturbing, and semi-abstract, Van Beirendonck’s was quite the opposite: dress it up and pump it full of unstoppable energy almost to the point of madness. Everything screamed of youthful vitality – anarchy almost – and the postmodern mash-up of (youth) subcultures, from punks to acid house ravers to gay ‘bears,’ would come to frame a whole new attitude in menswear which persists today, with designers taking flintstone from further afield, including from womenswear, while pushing social boundaries with their work.

From 1993 to 1999, Van Beirendonck worked under the label W. & L.T. (Wild & Lethal Trash – or ‘Walt’ as it was known), staging elaborate fashion shows which often resembled huge warehouse parties more than anything else, featuring clothes with a distinctly futuristic jizz: ‘talking’ voice boxes, flashing lights, and holographic appliqués were common additions to the garments, many of which were constructed from high-tech synthetic materials. If brands like Boy London and BodyMap were espousing the jizz in a rough-and-ready way in London, while the likes of Moschino and Castelbajac were interpreting it with couture refinement in Milan and Paris respectively, Van Beirendonck occupied a unique position, blending high-end with ‘trash’ and cutting-edge with elements of mainstream pop culture. WVB’s work frequently blurs the boundaries between fashion and art (indeed, the designer has collaborated with the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm on several collections), and his ‘anti-fashion’ approach always provides an interesting meta-view of the haute couture world.

“I am so surprised that in 2010 people are still shocked by elements of sex and sexuality, as well as race and religion. These differences in people seem completely normal to me, and I am rather confused that it is not like that for everyone. I am trying to achieve an open vision and I want to show that there are many things socially possible today.” - Walter Van Beirendonck

When designers embrace a particularly ebullient aesthetic, there is often a danger than their true talent for making clothes (mastering the elements of material, cut, proportion, and so on) gets overshadowed by the overall aesthetic and energy. I wouldn’t call this a failure on the part of the designer, but it does mean a trained eye and some knowledge of the context is required. For the layman, the easiest response to much of Van Beirendonck’s work is to lay it off as mere absurdity – evidence of the ridiculousness of high fashion. What most people don’t know is that Van Beirendonck is a director of the fashion course at the Royal Academy in Antwerp, where he has helped now-famous designers including Kris Van Assche and Bernhard Willhelm on their way. A whole generation of young designers have been influenced by Van Beirendonck’s work too, from Jeremy Scott to Henrik Vibskov to Cassette Playa’s Carri Munden. And if any further explanation is needed for why I’m a huge Walter fan, consider this: he was partly responsible for turning to Raf Simons, a former intern of his, away from industrial design and towards fashion.


click through to see a billion pics!
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby bels » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:06 pm

fuck me that is not what I thought he would look like.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby sknss » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:34 pm

did you think he'd look like

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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby germinal » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:30 pm

There was a short piece about this year's graduates in i-D this issue the most recent issue of i-D:

i-D wrote:follow the yellow brick road
Text Felicity Kinsella

Blindestraat, Antwerp 2000i-D celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Antwerp Academy's Fashion Department with the Antwerp Six and the Class of 2013. In 1975, Walter Van Beirendonck's application to the Antwerp Academy was turned down by its strict founder Mary Prijot. (He thinks it might have something to do with his seven and a half inch platforms.) 38 years later, and he's head of the department. Walter, alongside Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk van Saene, Dries van Noten and Marina Yee, formed the Antwerp Six after college; they wore their platforms proudly and stamped a small town huge onto the fashion map. For the fashion departments 50th birthday all six were reunited on its jury, alongside legendary fashion journalist Suzy Menkes, and i-D founders Terry and Tricia Jones. After an epic five-hour showdown, we hit the streets with four of our favourites from the Antwerp Class of 2013... The boy with the fairy-tale name, Devon Halfnight Leflufy gave us Hollywood celebrity inspired trackies; think Bling Ring and Lindsay Lohan prints. Esshan Morshed Sefat brought the heat with beach towels and Brazilian flags. Pierre Renaux fully embraced the magical mechanics of the future, winning the MoMu Award with 3D-printed heels. And lastly Minju Kim, winner of the H&M Design Award, indulged our sweet tooth with a saccharine dream collection.

Devon Halfnight Leflufy, 29
What's your favourite street in the world?
North West Marine Drive in Vancouver, because it's a huge hill that runs along the beach I grew up on. You can skate so fucking fast down that thing.
What's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to you on a street corner?
The week after Johnny Cash died I found a box of every vinyl he ever made on the street. That was pretty sweet!
Instagram @devonmilkshake

[picture of devon holding a snooker cue]

Pierre Renaux, 22
What's your favourite street in the world?
I love extremely sun-lit concrete highways during summer.
What's the most exciting thing that's ever happened to you on a street corner?
In the Red Light district in Antwerp one very cold snowy winter, an extremely unattractive tranny came out of her booth in her bikini and stripper heels to give me a very sweet compliment.

[picture of pierre wearing an aphex twin t-shirt]

Minju Kim, 27
What's your favourite street in the world?
I love Gwanghwamun street in Seoul, South Korea. It's located on a really busy traffic point, but in the middle of all the hecticness lays a beautiful traditional Korean palace. In the background you see a mountain, and around the palace area are small galleries and modern museums.

[picture of minju wearing a shirt with very long sleeves]

Ehssan Morshed Sefat, 29
Describe yourself...
Like most fashion students, up, down, up, down, up.
[Why did you choose to study at The Antwerp Academy?[/b]
I was mainly inspired by the former students' work, which showed quality and a certain creative freedom that is essentially 'Antwerp'.
Instagram @velvetesque

[picture of ehssan next to scaffolding]


i wonder if we'll be talking about any of these folks in the years to come
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby starfox64 » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:05 pm

"I love Gwanghwamun street in Seoul, South Korea. It's located on a really busy traffic point, but in the middle of all the hecticness lays a beautiful traditional Korean palace. In the background you see a mountain, and around the palace area are small galleries and modern museums."

This is my favorite street here as well.

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are there scans of I-D available online?
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby sknss » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:08 pm

i found many i-D scans on vfiles a while ago but registration is mandatory now and cba
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:48 am

Tried on a paisley Dries Van Noten shirt today and I'm in love, perfect fit, lightweight fabric, beautiful pattern and dark rich colour. Definitely to buy.

Also tried on this bad boy but Dries suit sizes don't agree with me. 48 (my normal) is too big in the shoulders, 46 is too small all over.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:42 am

Neighbour have some pieces from the new Schneider season arrive. Still waiting for the rest of the collection before making any judgements but the individual pieces are a lot more interesting than the lookbook photos made them out to be.

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Made in Belgium, 70% wool, 9% alpaca, 9% mohair and 6% nylon

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Made in Belgium, 90% wool, 10% cashmere

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Made in Belgium, 60% wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby starfox64 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:00 am

really like that second one but its already sold out in my size.

would like to get some schneider sweaters but i think this year my money for knits is going elsewhere. alas.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:08 am

Where is it going to?
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby bels » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:29 am

Oversized belted nonnative cardigan that he hates.
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby starfox64 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:52 am

inverallan, actually
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:02 pm

More Schneider stuff on amrag, this coat is great:

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Quite like these trousers too:

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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby germinal » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:38 am

"the stephan schneider thread"

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margiela

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margiela aw '92

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styling by margiela, photo by stoops

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branquinho aw '99

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margiela jacket

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persoons aw '02
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Re: De Antwerpse Zes - Belgische Modeontwerpers

Postby Syeknom » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:45 am

Good stuff

Just got a book on early Van Noten, going to write up a post soonish.

I'm not familiar with Veronique Branquinho, what's she about?
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