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Closed since 2018 for significant renovations, MoMu, Antwerp’s’ impressive fashion museum, is back – find out what’s new. Located under Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Arts’ fashion department in the ModeNatiebuilding on the Nationalestraat, the museum historically suffered from a lack of space.
With a new reconfiguration, the museum has now gained extended square footage, allowing it to give more weight to Belgium’s fashion legacy and create a programme that’s of interest to the casual visitor and the dedicated fashion aficionado. Architects B-architecten are responsible for the new lease of life for MoMu. Treating the Antwerp landmark with respect, they also acknowledged the need for a more practical working space. Using innovative design, they’ve also modernised MoMu, creating a light-filled atrium, a new welcoming reception, a green roof, a patio garden, an overhaul of the refectory plus added workshops on the roofs.
All this makes MoMu a versatile space, which is also technically and climatically controlled to house fashion artefacts and keep them in optimum condition. With its new configuration, the museum is now able to host cutting-edge and historically important exhibitions, including the temporary 'MIRROR MIRROR – Fashion & the Psyche', which looks at the role of fashion and its connection to psychology, self-image and identity. In a fascinating discourse, find a meeting point between artists like Cindy Sherman and Ed Atkins with designers such as Comme des Garçons and Viktor & Rolf. 'Exploding Fashion: From 2D to 3D to 3D Animation' explores a research project from Central Saint Martin’s College in London that examines the role of the pattern cutter in twentieth-century fashion.
Its permanent exhibition, ‘Collection’, though is the one to spend time in if you’re keen to find out more about Belgium’s fashion legacy and the emotion and importance attached to it over the last few decades. As well as focusing on avant-garde Belgian and international fashion and alumni of the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the museum also uses archive material to bring this genre to life and houses the largest collection of contemporary Belgian fashion in the world. Expect to see work referenced from Dries Van Noten, Helmut Lang, Yohji Yamamoto, Olivier Theyskens and Stephen Jones. Spending time in Antwerp, you’ll automatically soak up this stylish city’s vibe – to find out more, a visit to MoMu is a must.