Last Friday we headed to SHOW 2016, the graduation project from the students of the Antwerp Fashion Academy. It was the first time we went there with our team. The past years there was always some other activity or trip abroad that kept us occupied. But since it’s one of the leading fashion schools in the world we just couldn’t miss another edition. That would have been terribly embarrassing!
City of fashion
When arriving at the crime scene we immediately noticed that this was definitely Antwerp finest fashion event of the year. The city has the reputation of being a fashion capital but let’s be honest, it’s not like New York, Paris, London or even Copenhagen. Belgians just tend to be very down to earth. And it seemed like the only time a year they make an effort is for the Academy Show. Or we just accidentally arrived at the right spot on the right moment. (we generally have a talent for timing, fyi)
SHOW 2016 itself lasted around 3 hours which was kinda long to stay focussed. Things would have been way more exciting if they would have just skipped the cotton skirts and weird costumes. We do understand all students worked very hard and deserve exposure. But isn’t it all about the fourth and third year in the end? The historical and ethnical are great if you’re out with the family and you want your kids to be entertained. Yet, it doesn’t belong in an high end fashion show.
In general we thought that the collections during the first half all looked a bit the same. And some were way too carnivalesque. It seemed like all models were wearing a mask, mouthpiece, facial fishnet or whatever it may look like. Once or twice, ok! But collection after collection? Some really stood out though, we agreed that Sofie Nieuwborg and Petra Dudea were our personal favorites.
The Master year really was the cherry on the cake. Definitely Jennifer Dolls and Shone Puipia proved why they were actually graduating from the Academy. High end, classy, original and personal collections, that was what we were waiting for. But we guess that fourth year students enjoy the freedom to create what they actually want to create. They are less pushed into something by teachers or advisors and it definitely made the difference.