The space, which is a project of Anna Kushnerova and Romain Brau, two Antwerp academy graduates, intends to act as a multidisciplinary hub where the worlds of fashion, art, music and food collide. As well as shopping of course, that most modern art.
Inside the 800m square, double-level space you’ll find white walls and concrete contrasted by wood and felt (the pulped-block changing room curtains). Beyond the severity of shop-as-gallery, the instore liliputlian ‘cottage’ with fully thatched roof, by Mathieu Lehanneur, is evidence of their eagerness to show character as much as the cutting-edge. It’s backed up by again via glance into the garden, with ‘ghosts’ by artist Dashenka Dagmar Prochazka staring back at through the plate glass.
"It's an exciting concept because of the founding premise of collaboration - the idea of creative forces coming together in a space that is open for interpretation by artists, fashion designers, musicians and more,” says Daniel Thawley aka Dan The Scout, in-house journalist (their magazine RA Tidings launches soon) and online editor of A Blog Curated By.
“It’s the idea that an exhibition can become more than visual, that it enters into all aspects of the RA space - from the visuals to the music played, to the accompanying printed matter and even culinary accompaniments!"
With a charged mix of creatives checking out the location, Kloosterstraat 13 - everyone from Sang Bleu’s Maxime Buechi to culture jamming conceptual artist Item Idem, there was bound to be a buzz in the air.
And London too was represented in full force, with designers Charles Anastase, Hannah Marshall, Ilya Fleet, Louise Goldin and Linda Farrow’s Tracy Sedino not only on the racks but in the room as well. Thunderbolt menswear talent Katie Eary also hopped on the Eurostar from London, eyeing up the space for a possible future installation project.
The skill lays in the edit: you can get your Richard Nicoll or Gareth Pugh fix - they have the one of the largest orders of the latter globally - and you can also support fresh designers you won’t run into anywhere else, a primary concern of Brau and Kushnerova. Lena Lumelsky‘s metallic sculptural shapes of which are a store standout.
As is the corner dedicated to Japanese Gothic Lolita looks. Where else in Belgium, or Europe for that matter, could you find that?