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Alexandra Verschueren

Antwerp Royal Academy Show 2009

We review the collections that were shown last weekend to the public and a jury that included Suzy Menkes and Olivier Theyskens.

Last weekend at the harbor of Antwerp the fashion show from the Royal Academy of Arts took place. Repeated over 3 days, with 6000 spectators and an international jury that included Suzy Menkes, Olivier Theyskens, Henrik Vibskov, Mark Eley, Junsuke Yamasaki from Dazed Japan and head of the school's fashion department  Walter Van Beirendonck, the students had a lot to live up to.

As with every year, they delivered collections of highly innovative designs with a famed experimental and sculptural approach towards fabrics, wools and even paper. Colours and handmade prints narrated the beautiful stories and concepts behind all their collections. Once again this school gave us a show to remember and silhouettes to ponder how they will develop as designers in the future.

Alexandra Verschueren, 4th Year, Belgain, MOMU Award,and Flanders Fashion Institute Award
My graduation collection is called 'Medium', because the collection I made this year is really based a lot around my medium, paper. I first started thinking about doing a collection about paper early last summer, when I saw the work of Thomas Demand, an artist who recreates objects from everyday life in paper, and then photographs them. What appealed to me the most was that while it looked very real, it also felt artificial at the same time.

Emilie Pirlot, 4th Year, Belgian, Feeling with Strelli Award
I got inspired by the movie Otto e Mezzo by Fellini and I translated this inspiration into a mysterious, poetic and feminine collection. The silhouette starts from the hat, from which I draped a veil that slowly becomes a garment.

Karisia Paponi, 4th Year, Italian, A Shaded View on Fashion Award
A collection inspired by a porcelain tea set, full of golden and colourful prints, plates and cups are all around.

Setareh Motharez, 3rd Year, American, ASAP Photographic Services award (For the most photogenic collection)
Brightness Dawn collection is inspired by the life cycle of a star. Bold prints combine with shape to reveal growth and movement of a  supernatural solar system.

Tomohiro Tokita, 3rd Year, Japanese, BVBA 43 ‚Innovation Award’
My collection “Speed of Sound” is a modern mens sports wear. The idea came from the American aviator Joseph Kittinger. He was the one who experienced Speed of Sound without airplane. The concept was to express the feeling of sound with something visual. So, I triedto use lot of slash and dual construction for
details by using.I  also combined with native American`s geometric pattern, American Stealth combat plane and Art Deco lines as a pattern and shape of silhouette.

Lion Blau, 2nd Year, German, Christine Mathys award (For showing the most passion)
The inspiration for my collection “Elvitheroi” derived from the theoretically physical possibilities of timetravel, referring to the commonly known science-fiction theories, whereas the reality seems not so far away. Theories of Albert Einstein and Stephan Hawking did not only prove that travelling back to the past is possible, but also into the future, which can practically be achieved even easier.

(Photography by Jeroen P.Visser from Antwerp Fashion Observer, Michael Smits, Etienne Tordoir)