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Antwerp: Mode Museum

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D: When we were looking up things to see and do in Antwerp, we came across the website of Mode Museum. The first thing I saw on it was this picture of Tilda Swinton in an amazing sculptural dress. That kind of sealed the deal for me. So off we went to look for more interesting sights.
The MoMu lobby is expansive and impressive. Even more impressive was when the museum staff told us that people under the age of 26 got in for only 1 Euro! The museum usually has two exhibitions at a given time, both changing after certain periods. I suppose you could say that in keeping with fashion, they like to change things up. The complex also houses a library and if our context-clue-reading is right, a fashion school.

The larger exhibition was entitled Unravel: Knitwear in Fashion. They wanted to "challenge certain established ideas and show that --far from being old-fashioned and dowdy-- knitting is highly versatile, luxurious..."

The first installation was this large-scale knit element from Bauke Knottnerus, a Rotterdam-based designer.
Read on for a bit of fashion history! :)

"Sportive Knitwear"
(from left to right) Golfing jacket-1920-1930, woolen jersey cycling trousers-1900-1920, ski ensemble-1927, hunting ensemble-1927-1928

I loved this display of vintage "bathing costumes," a far cry from the skimpy bikinis rife today. 
           Woollen bathing suit in jersey with faux double breasted closure-1955, woollen bathing costume in jersey with metal hook and eye fastenings-1951 Can you imagine the hassle that all those hooks and eyes caused??

Woollen bathing costume with wooden buttons-1910 (!), Woollen bikini in jersey with swimming bands by Sonia Rykiel-S/S 1996

"Sculptural Knitwear"
This was one of my favorite installations. It was amazing how they were able to  manipulate threads and fabrics to follow the contours of the design!

Here is the stunning cover dress worn by Ms. Swinton herself. It's comprised of four hand-knit and hand-crocheted dresses, styled by Panos Yiapanis for a photo shoot.

Just look at that detail!
Cotton-knit dress by Bruno Pieters, S/S 2004

"1920s Knitwear"
During this time period, both hand-knit and machine-knit sweaters were the item of choice for women across all social classes. The sweater above was on loan from the Musee de la Mode in Paris. It's by Elsa Schiaparelli.
Woollen sweater front with trompe l'oeil motif, Elsa Schiaparelli, 1927-1928
Love both sweater fronts! I think they're still very wearable even now.
I wanted to pull all five sweaters off all the mannequins! The first two on the left are Petite and Heidi by Dirk Van Saene, A/W 2008-2009. The one in the middle is from the 1920s by Jean Patou.
This one on the left is by Bernard Wilhelm and the one on the right is by Sonia Rykiel.

A shot of the space

"French Knitwear"
Cotton dress in reversed jersey with trompe l'oeil motif and applique ribbon, cotton dungarees in reversed jersey, both by Sonia Rykiel
Dress in wool and artificial fibre with pop-art motif, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Silk knit dress, crocheted silk jacket with applique crocheted flowers, Chanel S/S 2010

"Italian Knitwear"
Seamless draped dress in cashmere, Saverio Palatella
This dress was so stunning! I haven't got the first clue when it comes to sewing but I'd say no seams is a pretty impressive feat!

Wolves in a Pack: cashmere sweater and leggings, Krizia, 1986
Hand-knit evening dress in silk organza, Gianfranco Ferre

"Japanese Knitwear"
Silk ensemble with plisse effect by Issey Miyake; Sweater dress in mohair and lurex by Junya Watanabe, Sweater dress in wool and cashmere jersey by Yohji Yamamoto

"Unravel" was the installation that paid homage to Rei Kawakubo's technique of loosening a screw on her knitting machines to create gaping holes in her pieces. This was in the 1980s and until now, we see the same technique being done by Margiela, Raf Simons, Rodarte and by inspired bloggers everywhere. Check out the intricate details on these dresses!
Open knitwork woollen dress by Iben Hoj; Men's sweate in wool, mohair, and leather by Raf Simons; Dress with knitted bands by TAO by Commes des Garcons
Both dresses by Canadian designer, Mark Fast

D: I think that was probably one of the best ways to spend your single Euro in Antwerp! Another reason why I need to move there soon! As you saw from our last post, this little town has it all: food, sights, and fashion! Didn't hurt that it was our cheapest stop in our Euro tour too.


Number Two Lover said...

Wow, ang pretty sobra ng pieces o_o and one euro lang! Sobrang seal the deal! XD

Rosanna said...

this i would have loved to visit!