Antwerp Is Burning

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The year is 1980. Behind the seemingly impenetrable, but beautiful neoclassical front gates of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, a phenomenon is taking place. Six young and ambitious designers are about to form a collective that will forever transform the face of Belgian fashion. Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten, Walter Von Beirendonck, and Marina Yee were aesthetically as different as six passionate young designers could be. However, this diversity within their collections helped them inundate London’s British designers show with their avant garde designs, which catapulted them to the fashion stratosphere. Fast forward thirty six years.

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Though no longer a collective, the members of the Antwerp Six are individually injecting their Belgian sensibility into the veins of fashion, on a worldwide stage. The footprints the Antwerp Six have created while “blazing the trail” are the criterion for which new Belgian designers adhere to. For example, Cedric Jacquemyn, a Antwerp based menswear designer’s melancholy, yet punk-inspired collections makes it obvious he is Ann Demeulemeester’s creative offspring. Though it seems darkness rules in Belgium, their is a designer whose romantic, diaphanous creations are shedding light in the way of Dries Van Noten; with his eponymous line, Marius Janusauskas.

Antwerp, Belgium has been an unrecognized gem in terms of fashion for almost two centuries. Given the slew of new talent, designers signing global deals, and Belgium’s rising economy, Antwerp could one day rival fashion strongholds Paris and Milan. Check out the new Antwerp Six and some of their looks below…

Cedric Jacquemyn
Cedric Jacquemyn

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Wim Bruynooghe

 

Toos Franken
Toos Franken

 

Christian Winjants
Christian Winjants

 

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