As the ’90s fashion moment continues I’ve become slightly obsessed with Antwerp. The Belgian city may have arrived on the fashion map via the ’80s designer collective known as ‘The Antwerp Six’, but its cutting edge minimalism is very much a look I associate with the early ’90s.
The Antwerp Fashion Academy graduates – Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries van Noten, Dirk van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee, Ann Demeulemeester and later Martin Margiela – placed themselves in the style spotlight when they hired a van and crossed the channel to show in London.
The avant garde nature of the their collections changed the fashion landscape and although individually the designers’ styles varied, collectively they made their mark with directional, futuristic and theatrical styles that challenged the notion of what fashion was at the time.
And here was me thinking that Belgium’s most famous export was Hercule Poirot – no mon ami!
Topshop, always on the ball with a trend, have seized this fashion moment with the aptly-named ‘90s Antwerp collection
, featuring plenty of luxe minimal pieces that capture the look perfectly.
Also launching this week in the UK is Belgian label Essentiel Antwerp. The simple styling of the brand is an extension of their history, which they sum up in one line – what started out as a basic T-shirt collection in 1999 grew into a colorful Ready-to-Wear collection for men and women. ‘Nuff said.
Essentiel Antwerp is available to buy in the UK from Fenwick, Anthropologie, Harvey Nichols, Asos, Zalando and Atterley Road.