Tag Archives: Belgium

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WE Chronicle: Maison Minnie Mouse at the MoMu, Antwerp

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Minju Kim for Maison Minnie Mouse until April 20th 2014 at MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp

Plentiful women’s names have left graceful marks in history, from Audrey to Coco, from Kelly to Greta. What about Minnie? Right, Minnie the Mouse. A line of edgy designers interpreted her legacy for this current exhibition at MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp through 20th April, 2014.

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AntwerpDamien RavnDoriane van overeemGiles DeaconKRJSTMinju KimMinnie MouseMomuRichard Nicoll
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WE Postcard: Ghent, Belgium

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If men in modern clothes and tram wires were gone, Ghent would have looked just like it was 200 years ago. One of the most precious medieval cities on earth, it preserves the best of its ancient look. Every rock on the roads and the walls speaks history. Sculptures all around the city centre are used to being touched by many from different times or even different centuries. The small city away from Brussels stays happily in the past – and the Ghents know very well those that stay are always the best. Vintage shops magnetises more people than the contemporary chain stores.

Mc Donald’s – the one and only in the city – may be not as popular as its peers in New York or London. As the first city to legislate the Vegetarian Day, the act to promote health and environmentalism is as basic as politeness. Every thursday restaurants unite for a campaign that proves vegetarianism is no asceticism. Any food – as long as it is natural and thoughtfully prepared – is a pleasure. A girl told me French fries with Mayonnaise are the best thing in the world.

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Here the elderlies enjoy every sip of ice cream, leaving fancy chocolates to tourists. Kids in the weekends don’t really facebook – they throw themselves away on a merry-go-round. The old lady has been staring at the horse for ten minutes. I saw a sticker on the quiet train station: IT’S MY FAVOURITE WASTE OF TIME.

 

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WE Chronicle: Minju Kim won H&M Design Award 2013

H&M has just presented its annual Design Award 2013 during Stockholm Fashion Week, where Minju Kim was announced to be this year’s glorious winner!

The Belgian-based Korean designer, masters student at fashion academy Artesis in Antwerp, already caused quite a stir as she put to the stage in 2011 dramatically dressed models with masks resembling those in Another Brick in the Wall music video. The theatrical contrast between fairytale and horror seems to have become Kim’s signature, and her winning collection ‘Dear My Friend’, based on the drawings of Japanese manga artist Junji Ito, simply inherits such complexity. “The idea of ‘DEAR MY FRIEND’ started from the observation of the people around me, disguised as ‘a friend’.” said Kim. “It’s during my school life here in Antwerp I’ve met people that let me experience a lot of different emotions like sadness, happiness, and some others I really can’t describe. When we finish high school, the first thing that we try is evolving in a mature way. But everybody loves in different ways.”

H&M’s Head of Design Ann-Sofie Johansson commented on Kim’s collection, “It was completely her own style, she has her own language. Her drawings were amazing and the collection makes you happy. She followed her own voice”.

More about Kim and her collection is in this video:

Launched last year, the H&M Design Award initiative aims to support emerging European fashion talent. Minji Kim will be given a $66,550 prize, and looks from her collection—which will be shown along with the rest of the finalists’ at Stockholm Fashion Week (January 28th through February 10)—will be produced and sold at selected H&M stores.

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WE Desire: Niels Peeraer: Texture of Fairy Tales

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Looking at emerging Niels Peeraer’s works is a delight that convinces us the old days when leather was all about tough violence and luxury were gone.

Born in Antwerp 1989, Niels Peeraer is a masters graduate of the Royal Fashion Academy of Antwerp. His graduate collection ‘GUESS TECHNOLOGY ISN’T READY FOR PANCAKE TELEPORTATION’ was granted five awards and included a limited edition handbag collaboration with Delvaux (a Belgian company specialiSed in fine leather luxury goods), and was later shown in Paris Fashion Week SS11. 

After his graduation Peeraer moved to Paris and decided to follow his passion for leather-craftsmanship by starting his own label for leather accessories. The vision to create beautiful pieces while sharing his whole universe with each item. Created for any dreamer who feels connected or touched by the piece, surpassing the boundaries of womenswear and menswear. Peeraers’ world is not about shocking or making a statement, it’s simply about bringing an innocent happiness to the seriousness of everyday life.

Since 2011, sculptural forms composed by the awe-inspiring Belgian designer cum  have been transforming the rigid material poetic characters. Texture, peaceful hues, and dreamy silhouettes add up to the ethereal aesthetics that makes leather smell like luxury no more – it now feels like fairy tale. WE talks to the sought-after designer about his unrestrained art of leather.

 

Why leather and why all the architectural forms?
I always loved the natural beauty of leather and the strong structure it has by nature. the passion for it is difficult to explain but I felt many designer working with leather that became addicted to this material. Also, the architectural shapes is something that comes naturally for me, also as a result of working with this leather. I don’t necessarily have inspiration from architecture or don’t have any architecture background.

I read that your tutor back at college was Walter Van Beirendonck. How would you comment on his influence to your design?
He taught me that by designing from your heart and doing exactly what you like to see, people can feel your passion and love in your design. But just this, he didn’t have direct influence in the design itself. I prefer to work from my own world, without looking to other designers.

Your collections are very decorative, whilst Antwerp gives people a minimalistic impression. What do you think about the weight of ornaments in fashion?
I wouldn’t necessarily agree all Antwerp design is minimal. If you look at graduation shows  from Antwerp every year you will find people expressing there fantasies and dreams, you won’t find many minimal things there. Ornaments are important to tell a little bit more about the designer’s world, but it’s just an ornament. My detailing starts from the pattern work, not just as an ‘embellished’ ornament.

You mentioned your preference for accessories over clothing is because accessories tell your story. What accessories you personally can’t live without? And do how they tell your stories?
I just like to always ‘cutesy’ up my outfits with little things. We should learn not to take ourselves too serious and bring some happiness, everyday life is already so serious so why would we need to dress in a depressed way by always wearing black?

NielsPeeraer photo by Marleen Daniels Niels Peeraer

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