“I wouldn’t say fashion is dead, but it’s not as alive as it used to be. Why and how? Both were designed to grow the fashion industry in Belgium, and to introduce young, talented home-grown designers to major ready-to-wear brands. It was coined as a target for defect-free product manufacturing. Though Margiela did not accompany the group to London, instead going to work for Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris from 1984, he remains a key member of the graduating class. The group identity promoted through the 80s fell away in the following decade, with the Six+1 developing their own signatures. The style revolution spearheaded by the Antwerp Six in the 1980s helped establish this modern metropolis as a capital of cool. The Six+1 frequently won awards at the Golden Spindle competition, and their collections sparked an appetite in Belgian consumers. Youth culture had spread like wildfire through the 60s and 70s, and London had usurped Paris to become Europe’s cultural epicentre. “In the 80s, there was Dirk van Saene’s store in Antwerp which is where I met Dirk and his partner Walter van Beirendonck. “When you leave the course, you know how to design – and nothing else,” said Vercraeye. The Antwerp Six in 1986 (left to right): Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Dirk Van Saene. In London, subculture ruled. I was already working with Dries at that time. Established among fashion’s avant-garde and counted among the illustrious Antwerp Six, Belgian artist-turned-designer Ann Demeulemeester founded her namesake label in 1986. I think it has to do with the political situation in the 80s, when the world was changing very fast and we became a global community; where the identity of a small country suddenly saw the possibility to become one of the players in this global story. “If you’re from the same generation, the same country and are doing the same sport, your competitive nature stimulates each other. In 1986, six young designers (all graduates of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts) and a shoe-seller-turned-creative-director, drove a van to London and fronted up … ... Infatti, dopo qualche anno di lavoro come freelance, nel 1986 decide di lanciare il suo brand con una collezione di abbigliamento maschile, subito acquistata da clienti prestigiosi, come Pauw di Amsterdam, Whistles a Londra e la catena newyorkese. Thirty years on, this legacy is evident in the recent reaction to the ultra-rapid pace of catwalk collections, part of the reason for Raf Simons to exit from Dior. Dirk said that they weren’t produced, so he went and saw his manufacturer who said: ‘Ok, we’ll make them but Geert has to distribute them because we have no agent.’ So I said ok. “As they could not pronounce (the designers’) names, they just started calling (them) the Antwerp Six.”, After two seasons we went to Tokyo because our trip was paid by the government. The Antwerp Six – a label conjured up by the press not least due to the difficult pronunciation of their names – remain memorable not so much because of all the six designers individually (some maintained their place in the limelight while some faded), but because they represent the rare phenomenon of a group making an impact on the international stage simultaneously. When the designers who would later be known as the Antwerp Six packed their fledgling designs into a van and headed to London in 1986, they probably didn’t fully realize the impact they would soon make. The six were given the title 'Antwerp Six' at the British Designer Show in 1986 because the press had had a hard time pronouncing their name. The Antwerp Six changed the way Belgian fashion was perceived when they showed their avant-garde collections at London fashion week in 1986. It’s like you came from another planet, we never heard of you! Location in Belgium Antwerp municipality in the province of Antwerp. At the academy they were taught by Linda Loppa. Until he started working on his own collections, he worked as a freelancer for a couple of years. Perhaps the greatest lesson to learn from the rise of those Belgian creatives is the importance of a designer’s confidence in their artistic vision. Since nobody outside of Belgium could pronounce their names they were simply called The Antwerp Six. People will always need something to wear, but the industry will be different. video bio profiling the career of designer Dries Van Noten, from his emergence onto the scene as part of the seminal "Antwerp Six" in 1986 up to his receipt… Antwerp Travel Guide About Antwerp. Dries Van Noten, a designer who needs no introduction, is the most commercially successful of the Antwerp Six. London, their choice for debut, was the most open minded of all. That … Text Hannah Rogers. Politically, times were charged: Margaret Thatcher was ruling with an iron fist, America was a financial powerhouse under Reagan, and communism fell in Eastern Europe. A group of unknown graduates from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp arrive at the British Designer Show, crammed into a small van, to present their collections. In London, all the designers were on the first floor of the building, and we were on the top floor next to the wedding gowns. The press began referring to them as a group beginning in about 1990, though the designers are united mostly by origin and common experiences rather than style. I need clothes.’ I went to see Walter and told him about our plan. Antwerp in the 1980s1981 was a dramatically significant time for Belgian fashion design. She gratuated in 1981 and when she went to London in 1986 with her collection she proved herself one of the notorious six. Nearby, on the edge of the River Scheldt, a giant curvaceous concrete caterpillar - a disused hangar for shipping containers - is the setting for the academy's graduate fashion show every June.Last year, Madeleine Coisne presented her Centers … They were sure that what they were doing was good. The breakthrough occurred in 1986 as the group rented a truck and set out for the London Fashion Week with their collections. “The way we lived will never come back,” said Vercraeye. “Antwerp breeded creativity. It’s fashion folklore – how in 1986, a gang of Belgian designers bundled into a van, headed across Europe and caused a stir at a London tradeshow, making their mark indelibly on the decades of fashion to come. The Antwerp Six: Dries Van Noten. Though editors have strived to discover a second wave, occasionally thrusting greatness upon groups of succeeding Antwerp Academy graduates, history has not been repeated. Dirk Bikkembergs won the contest, whom I met and got into conversation with. Dries Van Noten, one of the most successful members of the renowned Antwerp Six, started his own collection in 1986. To mark the opening of FootPrint, The Tracks of Shoes in Fashion at Antwerp’s MoMu curated by Bruloot, he recalls those early days with what would become the Antwerp Six. The ImpactThough the climate in which the Antwerp Six+1 developed has changed immeasurably, their history still provides lessons for designers today. ‘Your shoes are amazing and we want to sell them!’ I told him. Please, I have one solution: let’s go to London’s British designers show.’. Within just three days, they find themselves stocked at Barneys, Bergdorf and Liberty of London, and propelled into the media stratosphere. The shape in his collections, some of which appear season after season, are conventionally feminine and invariably flattering, smartly crafted and architecturally sound. Dries Van Noten is the eponymous high fashion menswear label of Belgian designer, Dries van Noten. At the academy they were taught by Linda Loppa. “The term Six Sigma was coined by Bill Smith in 1986, while at Motorola. We saw the future.”, Photography by Juergen Teller, Prosthetics Make-up by Geoff Portass, Make-up by Inge Grognard, taken from Walter Van Beirendonck's 'Dream the World Awake', published by Lannoo Publishers. So I went to his flat to see it, and it was amazing – I bought all of it. But I am sure there will be a time where there will be more individuality, more confidence. All the buyers never went to the second floor – we noticed this on the first day. Following a decline in the once prosperous linen industry, Willem Clales, the Belgian minister of economics, launched his “textile plan”. “I was looking for something new, and a lot of people felt the same,” she continued. Creatively, the scene was electric. The Antwerp Six is a group of influential avant-garde fashion designers that graduated from the Antwerp´s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the eighties. Page 35 of 50 - About 500 essays. London, 1986. That Simons is also a celebrated graduate of the Antwerp Academy is perhaps no coincidence. What then, was the magic formula? No more glamour shows with top models, but just models from the street walking between the chairs. A few months later, Martin Margiela came into my store, Coccodrillo, before he went to work for Jean Paul Gaultier. “I really felt like there was a zeitgeist in that time,” said Sonja Noel, founder of STIJL and early supporter of the Six+1. As one of the original Antwerp Six, he made his debut in 1987 in London. Photo by Karel Fonteyne, images courtesy of BOZAR. Today he is considered one of the best fashion designers in history. Assieme a Walter Van Beirendonck (diplomatosi nel 1980), Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Saene e Marina Yee (diplomatasi nel 1981) farà parte del celebre gruppo di stilisti noto come gli “Antwerp Six” (i sei di Anversa). Compared to the power-dressing looks from Mugler and Montana, they felt realistic, whilst their deconstruction of gender and body norms subtly subverted the Parisian fashion system. The anti-glamour of the six+1’s designs were instantly popular. “They had huge parties,” said Nicola Vercraeye, a close colleague of Margiela who now runs owns the only stand-alone shop in Belgium. I can feel this with the students (of the Antwerp Fashion Academy). The city was enamoured with the idea of the independent creative, encouraging young risk-takers to forge their own path, and bringing them together in pounding club and music scenes. Over the next 30 years, the designs of Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee changed the international fashion scene, … In 1986 he had his breakthrough with the presentation of his menswear in London, this year he also joined together with 5 other Antwerp designers, they are known as the Antwerp six. Continue Reading. Van Noten and fellow members of the so-called Antwerp Six (including Ann Demeulemeester and Dirk Bikkembergs) first took the international fashion scene by storm when they rented a truck and set up shop at London Fashion Week in 1987 (or 1986, or 1988, depending on … The Antwerp Six in 1986 (left to right): Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Dirk Van Saene. We went to Paris and showed twice as a group, but then Dirk Bikkembergs only did menswear so he had to split to do the show for men; Dries needed a bigger show because he was booming, and so the whole group split up. The designers who emerged from this crucible of creativity were making collections informed by social circumstance. But, The Antwerp Six didn’t have that. He mentioned the Golden Spindle contest (an initiative launched by the Belgian government to promote designers), and said that they needed somebody to do the scenography and the coordination with the music. Before that, ready-to-wear fashion was a secondary part of the couture houses. From Raf Simons Redux by Maria Luisa Frisa, published by Ediz, courtesy. In the underground sphere, some of the industry’s most groundbreaking magazines (Dazed & Confused, Blitz and The Face) took shape, all of which was also closely informing London’s fashion scene, which was just beginning to be taken seriously. ... Bill smith who worked as an engineer in Motorola inc introduced it in 1986. Over the previous few days, six other people had died of unknown causes in northwest Chicago. Career. “That style of teaching undoubtedly helped to breed the designers it did at the time.” The result was a graduating class the transformed the reputation of Belgian fashion, earning the country notoriety for being conceptual, subversive and avant-garde. Dries Van Noten, one of the most successful members of the renowned Antwerp Six, started his own collection in 1986. Antwerp probably won’t. “They [the young] are refusing extravagance,” she said, “and you need a little bit of that to come out with new things. I stayed there with the designers and realised the potential of what I saw. Then we had the Belgians; I realised what was happening there, and in that time London was big. He heard of it and went: ‘Why can’t I come?’ Then I had the idea: of course, they all have to come. It felt like a pop group splitting up. The day after, we rented two of them which we (filled) with all the furniture, the collections, the mannequins, the tents, the designers, and we drove through the Alps to Florence. The six artists studied under Linda Loppa, who formerly served as the dean of Polimoda fashion school. It was the same with the designers. A group of unknown graduates from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp arrive at the British Designer Show, crammed into a small van, to present their collections. I asked if he wanted to make a collection. A sustainable approach was adopted, with an appreciation for less-is-more. His intellectual aesthetic first took the international fashion scene by storm when he and other graduates of Antwerp’s Royal Academy rented a truck and set up shop at London Fashion Week in 1986 after gathering experience freelancing as a consultant designer and working as a … Source: Karel Fonteyne. Until he started working on his own collections, he worked as a freelancer for a couple of years. This piece is an excerpt from a longer interview – head over to 1 Granary for the full story. Martin Margiela is the unofficial member of the group, and people call them as the Antwerp Six + 1; Margiela didn't follow the group to London at the time but he is still the key member of the graduating class with the rest. You had Vivienne Westwood, Katherine Hamnett, Body Map, Culture Shock and John Galliano was just starting out. Forget the beer and waffles cliché, Belgium’s second largest city is the latest European hipster hub, with an avant-garde cultural scene that blows all stereotypes out of the water. They were all graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and put Belgium on the international fashion map ever since when they presented their collections during London Fashion Week in 1986. Alongside the surge of prosperity, an uglier world existed, and social unrest, terrorist bombings, strikes, high unemployment and the rise of HIV/AIDS also filled the headlines. Encouraged by Helen Ravijist, a chairwoman of the Belgian Institute for Textiles & Fashion, the Fashion: It’s Belgian campaign and Golden Spindle competition were set up. The streets of Antwerp are filled with people thinking long and hard about their sense of style. Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene and Walter Van Beirendonck become the “Antwerp Six”. Box Score - Houston Rockets (97) vs. Boston Celtics (114) - June 8, 1986 The Antwerp Six Oggi vi voglio raccontare una storia che ha il sapore della leggenda, una favola moderna che narra di sei talentuosi giovani designers diplomati alla “Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen (Accademia delle Belle Arti di Anversa)” che, nel 1986, partirono alla volta di Londra a bordo di un camion carico del loro talento e dei loro sogni. The term was derived from the idea that process capability can be described by product or service deviation from specification.” (“Six Sigma Basics”). Paris, London, New York and Milan will no doubt come to mind when you think of world fashion capitals. The fashion collective presented a distinct, radical vision for fashion during the 1980s that established Antwerp … The designer, one of the original Antwerp Six who started his namesake label in 1986 and helped place Belgium on the fashion map with his avant-garde clothing, artistry and prints, is opening his first standalone US store tomorrow. But, the Antwerp Six didn’t have that. That market has changed in other ways, too. As a member of the vastly talented Antwerp Six, who graduated from the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1986 … No way. Born in 1958, Dries Van Noten graduated from Antwerp’s Fashion Academy in 1980 to start his career in the fashion industry. Alongside the designers (themselves all graduates from the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts under Linda Loppa) was Geert Bruloot, the owner of cult shoe shop Coccodrillo. This interview is part of a series of collaborative content brought to you by 1 Granary magazine. The group also had luck on their side historically: at home in Belgium, fashion funding was receiving heavy investment. We all united, rented a truck and went to London to show the collections, and that’s where it started. They had this dream and this healthy naivety to believe in it”. Here’s how the story of the Antwerp Six is told: in 1986 six designers from Belgium bundled into a van, drove to London where they exhibited – achieved success and changed fashion forever. Noel pointed out that conservatism has swept the youth of today, with the rise of e-commerce encouraging safer buying choices. Three decades on, the six young Belgians’ swift journey to global acclaim still captivates the industry. “Events were organised by students at the Antwerp academy that you would hear of,” said Opdebeek, “but it wasn’t limited to parties. “Perhaps that stimulated creativity,” said Hendrik Opdebeek, head of menswear for Belgium’s landmark boutique Stijl in Brussels. We were just of the same generation, with the same interests – it was inevitable that we would all meet.”. Within just three days, they find themselves stocked at Barneys, Bergdorf and Liberty of London, and propelled into the media stratosphere. A year after that, I met Dries van Noten because I was at that moment also dressing windows for other stores. No. Photography Karel Fonteyne, courtesy of Bozar . Members of the Antwerp six joined the fashion department to … Dries Van Noten, one of the most successful members of the renowned Antwerp Six, started his own collection in 1986. At the start of the 1980s, six graduates from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp established themselves as a fashion collective known as the Antwerp Six. Key Systems And Processes Used By Ac Gilbert It is very difficult to explain. He said OK. Director of the city's Fotomuseum Elviera Velghe tells … These designers were so talented, not only in their collections but also in the way they presented themselves. “I think there’s a bit of an urge today to become a star very soon. Ever since six graduates from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts shook London’s 1986 Fashion Week to the core, the city has strived to stay one step ahead. Biography. Nel 1986 destò grande interesse con la sua prima collezione di scarpe maschili in stile militare. I miss that.”. That’s why as a group they got stronger and stronger, and they didn’t have to worry about being number one.” The Academy’s teaching style, which focuses solely on creativity without regard for commercial viability, also allowed the designers to do as they pleased. Antwerp Six The Antwerp Six is a group of influential avant garde fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980-1981. They had this dream and this healthy naivety to believe in it. I would go out in the craziest outfits, from Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier – tights, lace jackets. He graduated from the Antwerp Academy in 1980. The next season we were invited by the Pitti organisation to show at Pitti Trend in Florence, but we didn’t have money to go. So I said, ‘I’m fed up travelling with your shoes in the countryside. Nel 1986 La scuola di Anversa da origine alla leggenda degli “Antwerp six”, un gruppo di designer diventato brand grazie al loro stile così forte, concettuale e provocatorio e destinato a scuotere le regole del fashion system: Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Saene e infine Walter Van Beirendonck. “The term Six Sigma was coined by Bill Smith in 1986, while at Motorola. One American journalist wrote: ‘What’s in the tap water in Antwerp?’ It remained an enigma. 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