“We believe in the power of creativity, and that it can make a difference.” Their presence on the fashion scene – paired with that of elusive Belgian designer, Martin Margiela, who has come to be known as an unofficial seventh member of sorts – largely worked to expand the focus from Paris, which was firmly established as the center of the fashion universe, particularly then; their aesthetic was significantly different from the luxury houses that were dominating the industry up until that point. The world's diamond trading capital burst onto the fashion scene in 1988, when the Antwerp Six (Walter van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee), all graduates from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Arts, showed their deconstructed collections together at London Fashion Week. I think that’s worth remembering. Style: Most of Van Saene’s designs feature all-over print, which often make out a distinct scene or feature someone’s visage draped across the entire garment and take inspiration from his background as a painter, having screen-printed his work on pieces throughout his collections. For the Antwerp Six, these changes in the fashion landscape proved pivotal. Thanks to her, the conceptual and experimental education was emphasized. 4 of 4. That strict mantra has helped keep the brand relevant for decades, just recently celebrating his 100th runway show with a myriad of greatest hits sent down the runway. Ever since, she’s been completely absent from fashion. The Antwerp Six and their experimental-meets-commercial approach to fashion opened doors for other Belgian designers, most notably Olivier Theyskens and Raf Simons, the latter of whom studied industrial design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and then interned for Walter Van Beirendonck between 1991-1993. Legacy: Only one of the most mysterious and revered fashion designers of all time. One of the best designers working today, his designs are undoubtedly destined for museums. Van Beirendonck also regularly contributes to galleries and art installations, creating lavish materials for his artful materials for his clothing collections and even designed costumes for U2’s 1997 PopMart tour and created a capsule for IKEA. Here, we take a look at the fabled Antwerp Six collective, dissecting their lives, careers, and styles that made them part of such a unique piece of fashion history. For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Greatest Fashion Collective of All Time, the Antwerp Six. She joined with the Belgian brand Lena Lena and another Antwerp Six member, Dirk Bikkembergs. Marina Yee is a fashion designer and was once a member of the legendary Antwerp Six, a constellation of six Belgian fashion designers – all educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in the early eighties – who redefined fashion and made the world realise that there in fact was such a thing as Belgian design. Style: Sportswear before luxury sportswear really found its groove. The fashion department at Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is undoubtedly one of the Chickens Merry Chickmas Christmas tree sweater but I will buy this shirt and I will love this most prestigious fashion design programs in the world. He personally taught both Simons and Van Assche when they attended the academy, while Craig Green once interned for him. And the movement has continued to grow ever since. The success of Dirk Bikkembergs, Dries Van Noten, and other members of the "Antwerp Six" sparked a cultural renaissance in the city, which was already a … Legacy: Before the issue of eco-consciousness really hit the mainstream in fashion, Yee was there, putting it at the forefront of her designs and, in the process, inspiring many similarly concerned designers along the way. Ln-Cc . I got to spend two weeks with them in Tokyo and discovered they had real potential as designers. Just like the other five members of the group, he completed his studies of fashion designing in the Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The son of a menswear shop owner and grandson to a tailor, Van Noten was born into the garment world and took right to it. TOKYO, Japan — Marina Yee, who helped put Belgium on the international fashion map as a member of the Antwerp Six before retreating from the public eye, is putting out her first collection in over a decade.. Yee is best known for her creations derived from castaway flea-market clothes and textiles, which she gives a new lease of life — often with stunning results. The only member of the group who graduated in 1982, Bikkembergs eventually also won the Golden Spindle in 1985. Veronique Branquinho, A.F. He is a quiet, cerebral designer, but quite brilliant, offering only ready-to-wear collections, no pre-fall, pre-spring or haute couture work, as he doesn’t like creating something he can’t make available in a store. True. But it is important to remember that Margiela himself was not a true member of the Antwerp Six as he had already taken a job with Jean Paul Gaultier at the time the other members were showing in London. Ln-Cc . Bio: The oldest member of the Antwerp Six, Van Beirendonck graduated in 1980 alongside Martin Margiela and has been designing his own collections since 1983. Photo: Courtesy of Laila Tokio. Bio: As one of the more forgotten members of the Six, Yee rose to fame with the rest of the roster, graduating from the Royal Academy in 1981 alongside van Noten, Demeuelemeester and Van Saene. Not only that, but the influences and aesthetics within the group of six are so wide-ranging that it’s a wonder they all came from the same country and studied at the same institution. And when we became too important in London, the British Fashion Council chased us out. It is very difficult to explain. His eccentric and over-the-top design styles notwithstanding, his work and expertise has already helped established some of the best designers of the modern era and will continue to be felt in the future. That’s what made us decide to go to Paris.”. Then I had the idea that it should be six of them and I contacted Marina Yee, Ann Demeulemeester and Dirk Van Saene who accepted to go to London, too.” It was here that the group got their start. Legacy: When all is said and done, Van Noten will go down as one of the greats. Another option is MAS (Museum aan de Stroom, located at Hanzestedenplaats 1), which offers free access to their rooftop. When legendary fashion designer and Antwerp Six member Ann Demeulemeester announced that she was leaving fashion, the news made waves. Prior to the Antwerp Six’s London debut, Bikkembergs had already won the Cannette d’Or Award for best young fashion designer, which enabled him to launch his men’s shoe collection. A School for Ambitious Antwerp … Last month, Marina Yee, the most elusive member of the Antwerp Six, resurfaced in Tokyo to attend the opening of … Antwerp is a rising fashion city, and has produced designers such as the Antwerp Six. As you’ll see later on, two other members of the Antwerp Six also took home the award. Antwerp. The Antwerp Six's approach—architectural, dark, hand-made—continues to influence fashion design. That changed, however, with the rise of the Antwerp Six, the influential group of avant-garde Belgian fashion designers: Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee. Fossombrone in 2005 as a test lab for his designs—though he would eventually sell the team in 2010—and got to show a 2005 collection at F.C. Van Noten was a member of a group of six Belgian fashion designers who have come to be known as the Antwerp Six. The stores were excited, because something new was happening.”. Bio: After graduating in 1981, Ann Demeulemeester found success almost immediately, winning the inaugural Golden Spindle award in 1982 for promising young Belgian designers, which was created by the Belgian government to strengthen the country’s textile industry. One American journalist wrote: ‘What’s in the tap water in Antwerp?’ It remained an enigma. “There was an opening towards a new sensibility. In terms of so-called “fashion collectives,” there may be no more influential group than the Antwerp Six. Bio: A designer who needs no introduction, though he is often peculiarly absent from the press and mainstream fashion media, Dries Van Noten is, undoubtedly, the most commercially successful of the Antwerp Six. Bio: Of the Antwerp Six, Dirk Bikkembergs is perhaps the one that embraced the cycle of fashion hardest. Tags: martin-margiela, marina-yee, dirk-van-saene, dirk-bikkembergs, dries-van-noten, ann-demeuelemeester, walter-van-beirendonck, antwerp-six, master-class. “The freedom and one-to-one way of tutoring, as well as placing importance on storytelling, is what I love about Antwerp,” says former student and Antwerp Six member Walter Van Beirendonck, who is currently the the donald duck’s walk shirt Additionally,I will love this academy’s head of fashion. Whether that statement is more seriously about the state of our world, as with his Fall 2015 collection, or if it’s a bunch of sexual fetishes, you can count on Walter. But while his brand still most definitely has a place in the sneakers/underwear world, Bikkembergs the man has taken some steps back. If you still have energy, head to Dries Van Noten’s flagship store (the most famous member of the Antwerp Six) at Nationalestraat 16. We saw the future.”, He continues: “I think there’s a bit of an urge today to become a star very soon. Not a particularly populous or cosmopolitan city – boasting a population of roughly half a million people – the Belgian city was, for the longest time, a far cry from Paris or Milan in terms of having a place in the upper echelon of fashion, in terms of offering the kind of groundbreaking fashion that puts a city or a group of designers on the map.

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