Behind the scenes of Antwerp's SHOW2016

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp

Discover here the next-generation designers at one of the world's most influential fashion schools:  the Fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

United Entities
Here you can see one of the posters used to promote the annual fashion show of 2016 separately organised by both Fashion Departments of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de La Cambre in Brussels. The posters are based on Walter Van Beirendonck's 2015 collection theme 'stop terrorising our world' after the Paris attacks in November. It is to be called utterly unique that both Belgian schools of arts jointly announce their shows, being mutual competition and DNA-different schools. Both Heads of Department, resp. Walter Van Beirendonck and Tony Delcampe, chose to embrace each other's uniqueness and make a statement to the world.
Peek into the Masters' designs
Each year, all fashion students show their acquired skills, creativity and development. Still, the moment everyone is waiting for is the defile of the Masters' collections - They are the upcoming designers. On Google Arts & Culture, you can find out more about them and their designs, taking into account the designers' preferences of disclosure, and here's already a taste of it; so before you can have a feel of the whole show - from backstage to the catwalk - here's a brief  insight into contemporary fashion personalities who said the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp goodbye in 2016.

Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors
- How to Catch a Fish

In her interest for nature Charlotte found inspiration for her last collection How to Catch a Fish at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Flowers and small trees as theme items don't come as a surprise. At the same time the Belgian graduate blew us away with her injection of clothing basics into her collection: “When designing the clothes I used iconic items of clothing as inspiration: shapes of T-shirts, button-up shirts, blazers or other typical pieces of clothing, which I then approached from a literal point of view by incorporating clothes hangers and such. I made the shoes transparent and added organza grass.

Collaboration was a great experience for Charlotte; It's how she discovered the feasibility of the shirt frames, for example. But also when working by herself she pushed her boundaries:

I just really wanted to work with very fine materials and get that refined feeling, with a lot of craftwork because I wanted to test my own patience and take the time to create something by hand.”

Timo Zündorf - Brink

“I was thinking about the way I live with the people around me. And I thought: there is something a bit violent and frightening about the world around us; how do we react to that?" Timo Zündorf about Brink.

Timo is not a philosopher, nor is he a painter. But when you look at some of his designs and what's behind them, you may start thinking otherwise.

The German graduate also has a wayward personal view on fashion design and the fashion world in general. Fashion should show the world we're living in (not sure, though, if Timo also says: fashion should not impose itself onto the world) and, secondly, fashion design should develop artistically, rather than financially where there's place for durable materials, durable collaborations and ethical contemplation.

"I didn't want to create an idea of a jacket, but a jacket"

Emmanuel A. Ryngaert - Meccano

Like the toy construction idea, clothes are being assembled - there is just little stitching involved, and accessories can be changed according to your personal taste and mood. Meccano.

For his designs, Emmanuel used a unique technique: laser-cutting. This would make global clothing production possible in any country, made from its local fabrics, after having downloaded the design and technical instructions. The image at your right gives a good impression of what you can expect from Emmanuel's collection.

You will find out more in this series and when you search his name on the Google Culture & Arts platform.

Jannike Sommar - Miss

For her collection Miss, Jannike was granted the 'Certificate of Amazingness' award by the fashion blog and magazine Belmodo Media.

Jannike's master collection is inspired on the series 'Orange Is The New Black' that tells the story of imprisoned women. They all have their own characteristics and personality: How they cope with missing their family and loved ones, with their lack of connection, with their liberty taken away.

Jannike wrote a letter to her girlfriend as if she was imprisoned herself. What would she miss, what would she feel, what would she say? Answers to these questions you can discover in a very diverse line-up of 12 silhouettes, in this series and even more when you search for Jannike Sommar on this platform.

Shone Puipia - The Wild Bunch

Without a doubt, the collection The Wild Bunch by Thai master graduate Shone Puipia is the most expressive in colours of them all.

Inspired by Peter Weir's film ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock' (1975), Shone gives the Victorian schoolgirls' (white) clothing a more organic and raw touch, and more sensual as well. Floral and animalistic aspects a.o. contribute generously to that objective.

What also caught the eye is Shone's boot designs. It is not a coincidence that right after his graduation Shone launched his own shoe label 'Adult', together with Raphaële Lenseigne. An ambitious young designer making his way.

for Your Eyes only
Join us backstage at SHOW 2016! Most of the time you can only see perfectly dressed models striding in control along the catwalk. Now you have the opportunity to take a look behind the curtains: the pressure, the bustle, the final touch to a dress, stressed or composed faces, the adrenalin. All students (masters and bachelors), hair dressers, technicians, models, coaches running like ants in a natural chaos, trying to keep their cool and to be ready for their moment of truth. This is for your eyes only.

Models are checking the catwalk a few hours before they will be observed while walking their line, with their faces straight ahead. Not only the visitors of today are witnesses, the whole world is watching.

A perfect show needs perfect organisation. Each detail is crucial. The lighting of a full hangar, the digital title board, and the sound ... This year the globally known Belgian choir Scala will be singing live during the show.

For some there is still time to relax before being called upon, both indoors and outdoors.

There's still room for a normal breath, a regular heart beat, an enjoyable conversation. Everyone coping in his own way.

4 times 2 eyes. Almost. Anyway ... they tell different stories.

Models are being dressed.

There's just little space for many people.

The whole backstage is packed with rows and rows of clothes, shoes, hats and other accessories.

A professional coordination is needed to make the show successful and grant everyone the right focus.

There's always attention being paid to the whole outfit, not the dress only ...

ornaments ...

stiletto heels ...

Shone's boots ...

hats ...

accessories ...

earrings ...

Jannike's chains ...

Charlotte's shirt frames ...

key chain earrings ...

Timo's glasses ...

Emmanuel's sunglasses ...

Emmanuel's key chains ...

All clothes and accessories get the care they deserve.

stitching ...

and stitching ...

and stitching, to the detail ...

each fold counts ...

each detail counts ...

and the clock is ticking ...

hairdressing ...

making up ...

the final touch ...

a deep breath ...

Are you ready for the show?

The Show
The fashion show of the Fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is an annual, internationally praised tradition. The concept remains more or less the same. Students from Bachelor 1 to 3 show their development in design creativity and personality based on yearly repeated assignment themes. The Masters end the show with their graduation collection.  The audience and an international jury are watching every step. But SHOW2016 had something special in mind. There was, as explained in the beginning of this story, the joint show promotion of the fashion schools in Antwerp and Brussels called 'stop terrorising our world', and also, the Belgian choir Scala, known in Hollywood and beyond, was there to make it a mesmerising show. Enjoy!

The Bachelors

Bachelor 1 – an experimental bale-cotton skirt based on the theme ‘Natural Spirit’ and inspired by the students' indvidual object of choice. The second assignment: create an experimental dress on the theme ‘Put your head on my shoulder’.

Bachelor 2 – historical clothing: the details from historical costumes are the source of inspiration for the 5-silhouette collection.

Bachelor 3 – ethnic clothing: the students present a collection of 8 silhouettes. Their designs are based on in-depth research: the fabrics, techniques, culture of origin.

Scala & Kolacny Brothers
You may have heard a Scala song without knowing it. Check again the trailer of the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Social Network’, or replay the Kurt Cobain documentary, ‘Montage of Heck’. Popular TV series, like 'Downton Abbey', 'Homeland' and 'The Simpsons' also used the music by the Belgian choir. They sing own compositions but got known first by their wayward interpretations of rock songs, metal and even dance music.

All singers are wearing dresses particularly created for this occasion.

During the show, the choir accompanies the models on the catwalk with their live music, which makes the show even more special.

The Masters

After three years of immersive education with focus on diversity, creativity, personality and collaboration at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, the Fashion master students design their own 12-silhouette collection, to be judged by an international jury.

In this order you can find 2016 graduates Timo Zündorf, Jannike Sommar, Emmanuel A. Ryngaert, Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors and Shone Puipia.

If you would like to see more, we invite you to check their individual exhibits on this platform.

Here are some examples of Timo Zündorf's graduation design project Brink.

Paraphrasing Timo: the way we dress reflects the world we're in.

In Timo's opinion, people today long for self-protection and intimacy at the same time. This idea was the basis for his design.

Timo wanted to "create a jacket, not an idea of a jacket". He succeeded, did he not?

Miss is the Belmodo Award-winning collection by Jannike Sommar.

Jannike's collection is inspired by 'Orange Is the New Black', a TV series about women in prison.

Each design represents a different human nature. How would you express yourself in isolation?

What would you miss about your loved ones?

Emmanuel titled his 12-silhouette collection Meccano, assembled clothing.

There's quite some attention paid to accessories, like the yellow bag, and: the sunglasses, co-created with design brand Theo.

Most parts of the clothing have been laser-cut, and just little stitching was involved.

This is how Emmanuel has answered his own question:"If modular furniture exists, why not modular clothing?"

With her graduation project How to Catch a Fish Charlotte De Geyter Pittoors takes us to her muse: nature.

In her collection you can find the disclosure of wear design basics.

A co-created shirt frame.

Charlotte used fine materials which was quite a challenge.

The Wild Bunch, by Shone Puipia, brings exciting colours and dared combinations.

Shone found his inspiration in the Peter Weir film ‘Picnic At Hanging Rock’.

Originally as white as the characters' dresses in the film, Shone's designs gradually turned into more colourful creations during the process.

The Thai graduate now owns his own shoe label, Adult, together with Raphaële Lenseigne.

Shone brings a variety of lively creations, extravert and sexy.

And this concludes SHOW2016. Excitement has taken over from focus, bated breath and adrenalin.

It's been quite a journey. Time now to recover and get ready for the next SHOW.

Credits: Story

Behind the scenes of Antwerp's SHOW2016 was made possible by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Many thanks go to the photographers and, of course, the Masters Timo, Jannike, Charlotte, Emmanuel and Shone to disclose the imaging of their graduation process. Some of the pictures are displayed here, but you can find out more about the designers in individual stories on this platform. Feel free to check them out!

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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