4.30.2011

Antwerp-Brussels-Brugge

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A while ago my friend Dave mentioned what a fashion forward city Antwerp was. I always thought that visiting it was out of the question for some reason. So when I was planning a trip to Belgium, I was over-the-top excited to find out that Antwerp was not only in Belgium, but only a few hours away from Bonn by train. Known as a fashion capital of Europe, the city sets itself apart from the polish and class of Paris with it's quirky and unique style. Antwerp is home to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts where designers such as the Antwerp six got their education from. The MOMU or Modemuseum which is a fashion museum that houses many collections is also located there. The exhibit on display when I was there showcased knitwear.

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Swimsuits from the 1920's. Wouldn't it be amazing if swimsuits still looked like this? I'm tired of all those Hawaiian floral print tankinis.

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I believe this is a Azzedine Alaia piece. The hood and the asymmetrical zippers give the knit dress a little edge.

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Vivienne Westwood. I'm more used to her elaborate fabric folded and bunched gowns, but you can tell this piece has the designer's taste for drama in the full length knit gloves.

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With patterns like these, it can be none other than Missoni. I believe this is supposed to be from one of their more recent winter collections, but it reminds me of shift dresses from the 1960's.

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And Chanel. Can't get away from that perfectly ladylike and versatile women's suit, even in knit form. I'm in love with the sweet shape of the dress.

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Alexander McQueen! The absolute highlight of the exhibit for me. There was also a video of one of his shows playing on a screen nearby this display. Leave to him to take knitwear and make it into some crazy headgear.

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It kills me that I can't remember the designer for this piece. I'm thinking Comme de Garcons? Either way, its a very striking piece in person. 

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Dries Van Noten of course. One of the Antwerp six. This designer always knows how to combine colors, textures, and patterns like no body else.

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A close up of Rodarte I believe. Just can't get away from their deconstructed sort of beauty.

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In front of the Dries Van Noten flagship store! And in the designer's own hometown too. Sure everything in there was way beyond my price range and I was scared to touch anything. But it was still worth the experience.

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Shoes. Beautiful Dries Van Noten shoes. I'm in love with the different colors he used, the texture of the sequins, and the patterns made by the shapes. 

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Also stopped by the Ann Demeulemeester flagship store. Also one of the Antwerp six, she's known as Antwerp's princess of fashion. The store was closed, but a few of her dark, moody, asymmetrical pieces could be seen from the window.

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Had to stop and get Belgian waffles sometime of course. Although they were super touristy waffles, covered in white chocolate and strawberries, they were so worth the price. 

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The Belgian Comic Museum in Brussels was interesting. Although I didn't recognize any of the comics because they were Belgian, it was still fun to look through them.

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Whats a trip to Belgium without buying chocolate? Be proud of me though, I only bought about 5 euros worth of chocolate. I've been cutting back and since being back in America where there is no good chocolate, I've pretty much cut chocolate out completely. Shocking, I know.

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Last but not least was Brugge. How many people can say that they saw a vial of Jesus' blood on Easter Sunday? Honestly it was rather gross looking and the person sanitizing the vial after each person prayed with it was a little creepy. 

None the less. I lit another candle in this church. I'd say my over all candle lit count was about 14 over my entire time abroad. Lets hope the cause that I lit them all for is heard. 

Rach:]

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