Between 1980 and 1981 a group of six designers, educated at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts by Linda Loppa, graduated from school and emerged as one of the most significant fashion collectives in the history of modern design. With the Antwerp 6, Belgium became a fashion capital in its own right. Before then, they had been overshadowed by the leading lights of 20th century fashion: Paris, Tokyo, and Milan. But in the wake of their graduation and the ascendance of the young Martin Margiela, who was not himself part of the group, but might be considered an honorary...
Understanding the Antwerp Six
Models in History: The Model and the Origins of Couture
I. Model as Mannequin Couture could not be what it is without its models. And the historical emergence of couture in the West is tightly linked to the invention of the ‘model,’ the subject who wears the clothing for sale. Originally, they were known as ‘house models,’ reflecting their close proximity to the couture ‘houses’ that had begun to emerge in Europe toward the second half of the 19th century. Marie Vernet Worth, the wife of the early couture designer Charles Frederick Worth, is often said to be the first true model in history. Clients would visit Worth in his...
Junya Watanabe and the Ethos of Monozukuri
We explore the work Junya Watanabe and the philosophy of monozokuri
Dries Van Noten, Francis Bacon: Methods of Reference
“Fashion is finished. There is no fashion anymore. And I think that’s a good thing.” These oracular words, spoken by the eccentric pret-a-porter designer Dries Van Noten, express the philosophy of an artistic vision that is unbound from common meta-narratives about ‘fashion history’ as a self-contained field of artistic reference and transformation. Famous as a member of the Antwerp 6, the group of young designers that emerged from Belgium’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981, Van Noten’s work nevertheless departs dramatically from the designs of contemporaries like Ann Demeulemeester or Walter Van Beirendonck, evincing a vision that is undeniably...
Time in the Early Work of Martin Margiela
We explore Francesca Granata's academic research on Martin Margiela's early work.