The "Fashioning Belgium" project in the Seminar "Fashion & Architecture," MA Kunstwetenschappen at Ghent University
The research presented here is the product of the Spring 2023 seminar "Fashion & Architecture," led by Prof. dr. Maude Bass-Krueger in the Master of Arts in Kunstwetenschappen at Ghent University. This year, and for the coming years, the seminar will focus on researching Belgian Fashion from the founding of Belgium in 1830 until 1980, when the Antwerp Six became internationally renowned. This research project was co-initiated with the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels under a collaborative FED-tWIN mandate, which will officially begin in Spring 2024. The research is also supported by Revers, a Belgian fashion research group led by Bass-Krueger and Karen Van Godtsenhoven and based at Ghent University.
Each year, we will focus on a different set of archives. This year, the students explored the Belgian fashion collection at the Royal Museums of Art and History, managed by Ria Cooreman. We then explored the Vliegende bladen archives housed at Ghent University. Finally, we went to MoMu to view garments from the collection as well as fashion magazines from the library. We spoke with Nele Bernheim, Wim Mertens, Karen Van Godtsenhoven, and Romy Cockx about the research they have done on various aspects of Belgian fashion. You can read more about this in research topics and methods.
The MA students are disseminating the results of this year's research through this website, which was entirely student-built, as well as a student-led pop-up exhibition at the Vandehove Center at Ghent University that will run from May 9-12, 2023. The social media channels support public dissemination as well. Please contact us if you have comments, suggestion, or knowledge of (hidden) Belgian fashion archives!
MoMu Antwerp research visit, March 2023, photo taken by Brandi Chen