Sunday, 22 January 2012


Antwerp has built up quite a reputation in the fashion world due to the unbelievable amount of talent that has come out of the city ( Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Haider Ackermann, Bernherd Willhelm, Martin Margiela, Raf Simons to name but a few)...

Having said this it still remains pretty understated, and for a weekend away isn't yet competing with cities such as Paris or London.

For this reason I wanted to go check it out! How easy is the eurostar to do this! It was so simple, just a short train-ride away, in which I slept and woke up in a whole new place, very exciting!

We stayed in a little apartment, right in the fashion district, in fact it was so good we had the MOMU (Fashion museum) 2 doors down and the Dries shop on our road, and we were just walking distance to all the shops I had listed in my must-go-to list.

Exhibitions: Peter Lindbergh and the Walter Van Beirendonck exhibition at the MoMu...

The Momu was impressive in the way it curated this exhibition, the mannequins were on rotating circular platforms, in one other room there was a Simon Foxton / Nick Knight photoshoot on a curved wall showcasing Walter's work.  In another room there was a film of him going through his sketchbooks explaining where he gets his inspiration from and the way he researches for his designs.

The Peter Lindbergh was at the FoMu Museum:

Here is a photo of me outside, the museum is surrounded by quite an industrial environment, you walk along these roads, barely coming across another person, it reminded me of Berlin in this way a bit, the fact that there is quite a lot of open space.

Ra is a concept clothes store/ curated book shop / bustling restaurant and an art gallery space, comprising of this it acts as a platform of support for directional fashion and emerging artistic talent in Antwerp  whilst also selling international brands such as Swash, Fleet Ilya, KTZ, Meadham Kirchhoff, Rodarte, John Rocha, Simone Rocha, Louise Gray, Damir Doma, Henrik Vibskov and an amazing vintage section with Vtg Alaia, Dior, YSL etc. Have a look at their website to learn more.. 
Something I kinda wished i hadn't found out on the last day was that RA have an outlet shop also, only open Fridays and Saturdays where they sell stock for 80% off!! Unlucky we only found out on the Sunday, but a definite must for those going!!

We went for dinner there on the saturday night, I had pumpkin tagliatelle with hazelnuts, lemon+ chilli sauce with parmesan, it was delish! Carrying on with the food talk, one of the women who works at RA had started a Breakfast club on Sunday mornings at a different venue - In de Roscam, you can read more about it on their blogspot Otark Productions, the idea was to use different countries or regions of food each week, their was amazing 'Georgian' bread from a nearby monastery, really nice idea, especially because you forget that Sundays in cities other than London still operate on the old tradition of a day of rest, so when we stepped outside it felt like a bit of a ghost town at first!

Labels Inc:
The other shop that I was really impressed with was Labels Inc , which sells past season designer, and designer vintage / second hand. In here you could find a pair of Ann Dem boots for €70 and I managed to find a classic long black Dries coat for €90, the reductions were very affordable and they had a lot of stock.

Antique Sunday:

There was an antique market on on the sunday too, I loved these vintage tin toys! And the Antique area is on the same road as RA, Kloosterstraat, there were amazing antiques, but they were a bit pricey, not like finding gems at a car boot or an auction, but great big objects which would be amazing for decorating a house or shop.

Unlike me to write a MAHOOSIVE post , but I could have gone on for longer!
As you can see Antwerp is full of interesting things to do, from exhibitions to shopping to eating waffles and chocolate. It has a lot of creativity coming out of it, I will be interested to see where it is in a few years, as it feels there is a lot more to come!..