( Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk Bikkembergs )
The Antwerp Six refers to an important group of deconstructionistfashion designers graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980-1981.
The breakthrough occurred in 1988 as the group rented a truck and set out for London fashion week with respective collections:
( The Antwerp Six in 1988 )
Together they showed deconstruction as a making and unmaking of forms and codes including exposing the backstage and form of presenting.
Despite their shared background in the fashion department of Antwerp’s Royal Academy, the styles of the six designers are distinctly varied. Whilst Van Noten’s scarves of exotic fabrics, beaded saris and dyed skirts are inspired by the traditional practices of countries such as India, Morocco and Egypt, Van Beirendonck’s bold graphics and daring designs are rooted in a futuristic concept of fashion that is both theatrical and challenging.
The striking reputation of the ‘Antwerp Six’ is pivotal to the attention received each year by the graduation show of the fashion department of the Royal Academy. Held each year in June, the city welcomes a flock of international reporters, magazine editors and photographers expecting to find promising new talent.
For many in the fashion world, Antwerp has become a strong rival to Brussels as Belgium’s capital city.