23 May

Rival Belgian Fashion Schools Unite Against Terrorism

Walter Van Beirendonck’s most talked about piece of his AW15 collection was without a doubt a long plastic tunic with the words ‘Stop terrorising our world’ on it. The collection was debuted at Paris Fashion Week in January 2015, just weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Since then, Paris and Brussels have been the victims of tragic terrorist attacks, both claimed by ISIS. After that, Walter Van Beirendonck’s tunic is now so much more than just a reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The tunic is now being used on the posters for the annual shows of the two biggest fashion schools in Belgium. Those are the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and La Cambre in Brussels. With this symbolic gesture the rival fashion schools want to send out a strong message into the world.

“I initially thought it was a bizarre request because my work is so strongly linked to the Antwerp Academy.” said Walter Van Beirendonck, director of the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. “And then I quickly realised that it would be a very strong message. A beautiful symbol, to reaffirm that it’s time to stop differentiating Belgian fashion along linguistic borders. So we worked with the same garment on both posters, to reassert a joint commitment against terrorism, and to demonstrate solidarity between Brussels and Antwerp.”

Rival Belgian Fashion Schools

Both Walter Van Beirendonck as Tony Delcampe, directors of the two biggest Belgian Fashion Schools, are icons on their own. On Beirendonck’s honor roll: Raf Simons, Kris van Assche at Dior, and Demna Gvasalia at Vetements and Balenciaga. On Delcampe’s list: Anthony Vaccarello at Versus Versace then Saint Laurent, and Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne. That being said, it is obvious the two have a major influence on the fashion industry as it is today. Because of that, La Cambre and the Royal Academy of Fashion in Antwerp are often compared to each other.

Be sure to check out our thoughts about Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts SHOW2016!

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