Quinten Mestdagh

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I know I wrote that before, but Instagram really is a treasure chest of creatives who deserve the spotlight. A casual morning scroll-down-of-my-feed later and here I’m with Quinten Mestdagh‘s powerful collection, which has been presented during the last fashion show of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. The designer is a third-year graduate of the school, which breeded the famous Antwerp Six, and already makes a unique mark on the Belgian fashion scene. Quinten’s voluminous garments electrify the viewer with their texture, colour and imagery. Speaking of the last, its the designer’s  visible strenght in ‘Dodge This’ collection. “I have always been attracted by highly stylized images in fashion magazines and advertisements. Last summer, I started collecting pictures in the archive of the MoMu library in Antwerp. With those images, I made collages and paper 3D experiments to create tension and roughness, contrasting with the beauty found in fashion photography. I then approached the garments as abstract panels for the images,” Quinten told ASVOF. With faces of fashion models and icons like Nico, Karen Elson or Princess Elizabeth of Toro as prints, the designer emphasizes and embraces extreme femininity in form of modern-day ball gowns and statuesque skirts. Just wow.

Photos via Quinten’s Instagram / by Michaël Smits.

#2015 – Marques Almeida

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 They were the ones who discreetly made frayed and cut denim cool again; they made 90’s vibe strong and most noticeable this year. Also, the Portuguese couple of Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida won the LVMH Prize Award this year for their major impact in new-gen fashion. Marques Almeida‘s designer duo just couldn’t be not listed in 2015’s favourites!

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AW15 – For ther winter collection, the label shows their signature denim, but also brings a lot of new ideas – knitted dresses, jacquard knot-tops, lilac furs and polished leather accessories. Models marched to the sounds of Bjork’s 1995 “Army of Me”, haveing their hair done in undone, grungy way. The attitude reminded me of Corinne Day’s photography from the 90’s, as “it was a lot about those shoots where you would have these really expensive garments with a wrecked sofa”. Hell yeah.

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Resort’16 – After winning the LVMH Prize, Marques Almeida quickly updated their brand schedule, by introducing a new season to it – resort. And for their first resort collection, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida went to Brazil with their muse, Sofia. The effect? A collection filled with affordable clothes, which have a very specific M’A signature attached to them. Special denim tops with ruffles; grungy silhouettes; bold colours. And lovely dresses which were styled in unusually elegant way. Loose-weave light knits were slashed and knotted just like their tattered T-shirts, which came reinvented here as beachwear. Digital jungle-print silks and florals were a clash of femininity and the typical rawness Marques Almeida has in its codes. It is worth to mention, that going to Brazil was worth it – the clothes looked laid-back and appealingly slouchy.

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SS16 – Marques Almeida’s recent London outing for spring-summer 2016 seemed to be not only the most daring, but also  commerce-wise. The sheer, ruffled dresses and skirts looked flowing and truly romantic. The collection had a fresh, lady-like tendency and a dose of edgy, over-sized silhouettes. And the linen top with feather-appliqued shoulder stole the spotlight of the last London Fashion Week day. Simultaneously, their best-selling denim trousers and tops were just slightly changed, in order to keep the Marques Almeida best-seller fresh. If you ask me, this collection showed that Marques Almeida is not plainly about apparel, but also about avant-garde fashion.

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