Julie Kegels’ Supper Club

I will always be me,” Belgian fashion designer Julie Kegels told 1 Granary. Ever since primary school, she dreamt of joining the fashion department at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp – the city where she was born and raised. The stars aligned, and we’ve got an exciting, emerging fashion designer coming from the famously off-beat, “fifth” fashion capital. Her unconventional approach towards silhouettes, and ability to fuse the media of fashion and art, are distinct in her first, proper collection. The main inspiration from Kegels’s Masters Collection is “The Dinner Party“, the installation by Judy Chicago from 1979, in which the feminist artist set a gigantic, triangular table for 39 women from across history. Each place setting was dedicated to a mythical or world-famous woman that played an essential role in the history of female rights. For every woman, she designed a custom place setting inspired by the story of their life. For her collection, Kegels focused on the twelve of these settings. You can wear each of the silhouettes, but you can lay them on a table for decoration purposes as well. The whole concept was an excellent opportunity to experiment with textiles. “I tried to push the boundaries and create fabrics with a soul like embroidery, hand knits, playful drapes and materials with structure. I vacuumed old lace with a plastic fabric as this created depth in the shape of laceflowers. By creating new fabrics, I discovered that making an old fabric look modern is what I genuinely loved doing during the process of this collection“. The designer continues: “Dressing up for a dinner party has always been a magical experience for me. My line-up is based on a picture of a woman standing in front of the mirror holding a dress. Therefore, every piece in my collection has a different front and back. With these primary elements in mind, I developed the concept.” The final effect is both futuristic and retro; familiar, yet totally unknown. The look-book, photographed by Anton Fayle and art directed by Studio M, transports you to the unique world of Kegels, where nothing is as it seems. Keep Kegels’ work on your radar – and don’t forget to check out her Instagram!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Optimistic. Dries Van Noten SS18


Dries Van Noten is the designer that had a lot of reasons to celebrate lately: from his very successful 100th collection to ‘Dries’, a documentary that in-depth looks at his work, In other words, the world’s eyes were completely on him. But for spring-summer 2018, Van Noten visibly decided to take a break and lean on his well-known classics. Starting with nude shades and ending on lilac, the collection was about an interesting colour gradation; typically Dries prints in floral motif were used for voluminous shirts, skirts and coats. One of the biggest surprises was the ‘flou’ sensed in the season’s flowing eveningwear. Romantic and easy. Not forgetting to mention the irresistibly good black suit topped with an embellished mesh. Back to basics, for a while, is a very worthwhile thing to do. And going optymistic, as well. “We always say that fashion is a reflection of our times,” said the Belgian designer after his sprin-summer 2018 show. “Well, maybe that’s enough of that! Let’s do something optimistic, enjoy things—and really go for it!


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Antwerp’s Finest Houses


At Dries Van Noten.

Entering Ann Demeulemeester‘s spacious store is like approaching the church alter. The Belgian fashion designer’s dark romance oozes from the lace vests, fragile headpieces and Victorian frocks with absorbing power, while the multi-storey boutique has a sacred charm about it. The white-wall backdrop makes you look at the details of the clothes with great scrutiny, breathless. Ann’s fashion used to be pure poetry with a Flemish twist, and fortunately, Sebastian Meunièr, the current creative director, successfully conveys the Demeulemeester codes in his collections. And with the help of the Antwerp flagship store – which also holds the studio and atelier – Ann Demeulmeester appears to be one of the finest of Belgian fashion.

Leopold de Waelplaats

Other than Ann Demeulemeester, there’s also Dries Van Noten and A.F. Vandevorst, who make contemporary Belgian fashion so crucial. The building, in which you see the Van Noten boutique, is fully owned by the designer and is gracefully called Het Modepalais (‘fashion palace’). The name might sound quite over-the-top, but the store is far from that term. It’s like Dries’ fashion – refined with an edge. It feels like an apartment that is currently ‘furnished’ with the designer’s mesmerising clothes and accessories from his 100th collection. Fresh bouquets of hydrangeas bring even more chic to this (literally) fashionable townhouse. What’s interesting, Dries Van Noten really is a local treasure of Antwerp. That’s evident from the moment you start observing the clients – the crowd of mature, aware-of-themselves women trying on floral dresses and passionately advising on their purchases with their patient (and equally stylish) husbands is surprising. Observing this scene is beautiful and heartwarming in its own way. Meanwhile, trying on faux-furs and preciously embellished sweaters at the menswear floor is double the pleasure…

Nationalestraat 16

A.F. Vandevorst‘s store is small, but dynamic. The brand is known for off-kilter, punky attitude – better get your hands on those chunky knits and signature, pointy-toe boots. They sell out quickly. The braver once might want to indulge themselves in kinky, PVC coats and patchwork dresses coming from the brand’s latest venture into haute couture world.

Lombardenvest 20

All photos from Antwerp are by Edward Kanarecki.

Christian Wijnants


Usually, when I discover a designer which I haven’t known earlier, I’m living a one-day obsession with him or her. But with Christian Wijnants, I have a mania which will surely last for longer. With a soft point for Belgian fashion, no wonder why I’ve fallen in love with Wijnants’ unique, lady-like vision. Christian graduated from prestige Royal Academy of Fine Arts (‘Antwerp Six’ rings a bell?), and found his eponymous label back in 2003. As most of Belgian designers, he presents his collections to editors and buyers in Paris, and just a year ago, he opened his first flagship store in Antwerp – the city where his studio is based in. For autumn / winter 2016, Wijnants’ look-book oozes with urban femininity, peculiar colour combinations and bold patterns. A contemporary, style-conscious woman will go for one of those coats, questioning which colour is better – tangerine orange or pastel turquoise. Both look ground-breaking, so the choice isn’t easy. Knitted, olive-green turtlenecks are styled with striped baby-pink skirts, while the fluffy, fur cushion-clutches are this season’s candies out of all other accesories. The puffa jacket (of course in stripes!) is a burning desire, too. Is it a wardrobe of a modern-day dame? She’s an eccentric character, who loves to wear a pair of synthetic-white gloves to brunch!








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