Showroom Belgium

A group of Belgian fashion designers join Showroom Belgium by Flanders Fashion Institute at LFW

Fashion Incoming
Niels Peeraer Photography by Wenn-Kee Hsu

Uniformity and conventionality have never been part of Belgian fashion’s vocabulary – not at the time of the legendary Antwerp Six and not in the slightest bit now. So to succeed that influential heterogenous group means just one thing: presenting an aesthetic entirely individual and authentic. This time around, however, the Belgian designers who are crossing the Channel to show their collections have the full support of the country’s official fashion organizations to back them up.

Flanders Fashion Institute has selected five designers, some emerging and some more established, to post themselves on the London Fashion Week scene. More precisely in the East Wing of Somerset Houses’ ground floor, where the Antwerp concept store RA’s chosen designer Niels Peeraer sets up an installation. Ahead of the opening, Dazed approached three of them for a round of quick questions...

Dazed Digital: As a short introduction... describe your collection in a few sentences!
Sofie Claes:
Wolf’s vision is to create clothes that reinforce the personality of the woman who wears them, by their strong appearance and a down-to-earth style with a sharp eye for detailing. The collections are 100% made in Belgium, minimal, timeless and based on quality craftsmanship.

DD: What image do you have of the London fashion scene?
Sofie Claes:
If I think of the London Fashion Scene I think of avant-garde, innovation and a lot of very talented experimental young designers. London Fashion Week is all about exposure and getting in the picture.

DD: How will your work stand out in comparison?
Sofie Claes: My work is very minimal so I am not counting on blowing away the audience with my creations. Instead, I hope to be the quiet breath of air in the chaos and attract the visitors with the pure and strong vision of my collection.

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Dazed Digital: Describe your collection in a few sentences.
Niels Peeraer:
My F/W 12 collection is called 'The snake and the lotus, the curse of the white fox'.  It’s about a girl and a boy trying to protect their family crest and traditions. The main inspirations are symbolism and traditional Japanese hairstyle. My leather accessories are made out of natural colored cow leather in combination with metal pieces - I always search for a balance between the roughness of the material against the lightheartedness of the design. 

DD: What image do you have of the London fashion scene?
Niels Peeraer: In my eyes London is a tougher and bolder scene than Paris for example. It’s a young vibrant fashion scene that's not afraid to put their vision and aesthetic out there and be right in your face with it.

DD: How will your work stand out in comparison?
Niels Peeraer: I always add a little cuteness (yet not naivety) to the toughness of the leather. In western society we are afraid of cuteness and very easily label it as 'childish'. I want to show that there can be a good balance and that there is no limit to cuteness. It’s simply about bringing an innocent happiness to the seriousness of everyday life.

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Dazed Digital: Describe your collections in a few sentences...
Cédric Jacquemyn
: My work is defined by a sensitive touch - sculpting natural fibers into slim, flowing garments imbued with historical, ethnic and mythical significance. I have a continuing artistic dialogue with the photographer Yves de Brabander, whose lens captures the brand's visual identity in arresting natural and manmade landscapes.

DD: What image do you have of the London fashion scene?
Cédric Jacquemyn:
I have no idea what to expect. It’s a new chance, a great opportunity given by the FFI and London Fashion Council.

DD: What are your future ambitions? 
Cédric Jacquemyn: To continue the story I’m telling through the seasons withthe poetry, the vision…

Showroom Belgium, London Fashion Week Exhibition, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 1LA, from 17 to 21 February

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