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Royal Academy of Fine Arts
The driving force behind the Antwerp fashion scene is its Royal Academy of Fine Arts fashion department.
The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen) is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold and Don Juan of Austria. As the master of the SaintLuke's Guild of painters, sculptors, engravers and book printers, he wrote a petition to the Spanish king Philip IV, in which he explained that the guild wished to establish a public and free academy in Antwerp in order to'... encourage the said arts and raise their esteem'. As an example he cited the famous schools of Rome and Paris; the school in Antwerp was to serve the same goal of aiding'... the advancement of the said arts in the States of Your Majesty'. --http://www.show2000antwerp.org [Jul 2004]
Their Sitehttp://academieantwerpen.ha.be [Jul 2004]
Current TeachersLuc Adriaenssen , Christine Aertssen , Fred Bervoets , Hugo Besard , Herbert Binneweg , Frederik Bogaert , Wouter Bolangier , Peter Bosteels , Toon Brouwers , Joost Caen , Jan Carlier , Erica Chaffart , Jean Claessens , Jan Crab , Jan Craen , Georges Cuyvers , Monique De Belder , Marc De Bisschop , Max De Cock , Pé De Hertog , Lies De Maeyer , Patrick De Muynck , Raf De Smedt , Yvonne Dekock , Georges Dewispelaere , Jean-Pierre Dullaert , Bart Eyckermans , Peter Eyskens , Ann Geerinck , Staf Geers , Lou Gils , Pascaline Goossens , Thessa Goossens , Paul Goris , Jan Gruyaert , Pat Harris , Hugo Heyrman , René Huybrechts , Paul Ilegems , Charles Indekeu , Marc Jambers , Dirk Janssen , Silvain Keuleers , Ludo Lacroix , Ingrid Ledent , Jean Lemmens , Ludo Lens , Huguette Lenssens , Linda Loppa , Ingrid Meeuwis , Spank Moons , Koen Muller , Nellie Nooren , Nina Onzia , Johan Pas , Oswald Pauwels , Jan Peeters , Hugo Rabaey , Marc Ribbens , Mieke Robbe , Hugo Roelandt , Linda Ruttelynck , Marc Segers , Marijke Seresia , Jan Smitz , Anne-Marie Spaans , Patrick Storme , Anne Stubbe , Clara Suetens , Marijke Tanghe , Dirk Van Bastelaere , Walter Van Beirendonck , Ilse Van den Bogaert , Els Van Den Eynden , Bruno Van Dyck , Geert Van Eeckhout , Kris van 't Hof , Tilde Van Uytven , Eddy Verhaeven , Erna Verlinden , Yvette Verlinden , Kristien Vrancken , Mieke Wellens , Jean-Luc Wittevrongel , Marc Zwijsen --http://academieantwerpen.ha.be/lesgevers.html [Jul 2004]
Fashion Department: SixtiesBy the sixties, in our present century, the general opinion had stopped considering the ‘applied arts’ to be of lesser value than the ‘traditional arts’. In accordance with the spirit of the times, a number of new departments were added to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts: graphic design, photography, jewellery, ceramic arts and Fashion design. Mary Prijot championed the establishment of a fully-fledged fashion department within the Academy. She gave the fashion department an international appeal and set evry high creative standards, both for fashion drawing and later, for fashion design. Together with Marthe Van Leemput, who added the subjects of tailoring and pattern design to the curriculum, she drew a blueprint for the fashion department, a plan which still serves its purpose extremely well. Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela are designers who graduated from the Academy in the beginning of the eighties, when the fashion department was under the patronage of Mary Prijot.
In the beginning of the eighties, the fashion world and the international media started to get interested in Antwerp fashion designers. From then on, the fashion department of the Royal Academy shared in this international interest, not in the least because of the continuous quality of the collections designed by some of the now aforementioned famous ex-students and a new generation of designers as Wim Neels, Veronique Branquinho, A.F. vandevorst, Jurgi Persoons, Stephan Schneider, Angelo Figus, Bernhard Willhelm, Anke Loh, Christophe Charon, Bruno Pieters, Tim Van Steenbergen, Marjolijn Van den heuvel and Haider Ackermann amongst many others. --http://www.antwerp-fashion.be/HTML/introduction.html [Jul 2004]
Annual Fashion ShowThe annual fashion show organised by the Antwerp Academy is a veritable feast of fashion that brings together something like 6.000 spectators from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA and Japan, who are looking not only to judge and admire the students' collections but also to savour the unique atmosphere of this great event.
It is held in the Oude Beurs in the Twaalfmaandenstraat, the world's first commodity exchange, where trade has been conducted since the Middle Ages. Once a year, the building is filled with friends, fashion enthusiasts, producers, former students, fashion designers, fashion agencies and, of course, the press. Their interest and appreciation are the reward for the years of sustained effort on the part of the students and their teachers.
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