Five Walks of Fashion: Exploring The Vibrant Fashion Culture Of Antwerp

July 8, 2010 • Fashion


Amanda Aldinger for Second City Style Magazine

I just recently returned from a month-long European excursion where I
stayed primarily in Paris, but was able to pepper my French adventure
with trips to London, Monaco, Versailles and Antwerp. In my head, I
had this hyperbolically romanticized idea of Paris, and Parisian
Impeccable, seamless, avant-garde, exquisite – I was sure
that my entire experience would be engulfed by a visual whirlwind of
cultured perfection. On many levels, it was. Although I'm not sure than
anything can ever live up to the imagined affairs of a young woman eager
to shed stateside boundaries and embrace the life-changing experiences
of other cultures. 

The epitome of rich historicity, Paris was a dream. But when it
came to blow-your-mind, guttural, unlike-anything-you've-seen-before
fashion, Antwerp completely threw me for a sartorial loop
overwhelmed the competition. Housing the Royal Academy of Fine Arts,
which provides the world's leading training in fashion, Antwerp is
the Dutch home to some of the world's most prolific designers and
fashion culture.
Putting themselves on the mark by graduating the
legendary Antwerp Six in the early eighties: Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann
Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene,
and Marina Yee
, the saturation of inimitable talent which seeps
into the oeuvre of Antwerpan culture sets the quaint, friendly town
above and beyond many of fashion's honored mainstays like Paris and

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