N°17: Too much! Too big! Five centuries of prejudice

N°17: Too much! Too big! Five centuries of prejudice

What can there be in common between the 16th century high-boots, panties at the Rhingrave of the 17th, the puffing trousers of the zazous of the 40s and the "baggies" of the 90s? They have certainly dressed the legs of men throughout of the last five centuries, but especially all have been criticized during their appearance and with regard to the same reasons: the extent of the garment, the deformation of the body or the hindrance of walking.

Denis Bruna, curator at the fashion department of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris, returns to these clothing transgressions that he addressed in his last exhibition Correct outfit required. When the garment is scandalous.

In the frame of "2018, Year of Contestation".

Thursday January 25, 2018

N°16 : Reflection by Jean-Paul Lespagnard

Jean-Paul Lespagnard is a prolific designer, he works in fashion, art, dance, theatre, fashion design and communication. His first collection was presented in March2011 during Paris Fashion Week. Since then his creations have taken the world by storm. Jean-Paul Lespagnard combines a keen fashion sense with a fascination for art in all its forms, both popular and underground. He likes to say that he prefers to dress a personality rather than a person and that his fashion/lifestyle is not aimed at any particular age or physique.

A conversation between Jean-Paul Lespagnard and Anne-Françoise Moyson, journaliste Le Vif Weekend

Thursday May 11, 2017

N°15: Habit-Bâti

Between textile design and architecture

Over the past few decades, the gap between architecture and textile design has continuously decreased thanks to the arrival of new technologies and innovative materials. There are countless collaborations between architects and fashion designers, whether for the design of lofts or concept stores. Architecture has become a platform for fashion.

But, what about the contribution of fashion to architecture? Although it is obvious that clothing is a second skin, can architecture be considered as our macro skin? From a unique body to a collective body, from clothes to buildings?

By Fabrice Bladt, architect graduate from La Cambre. He is the author of a thesis entitled Habit Bâti: Enquête sur la convergence des recherches entre design de vêtement et design d'architecture

N°14: Memoirs of a robe of emotion

N°14: Memoirs of a robe of emotion

Language and symbolism of an exceptional scenography.

A fascinating encounter between aesthetic and moral symbols, a timeless dialogue between traditional outfits and personal outfits: the wedding dress, a true lesson in fashion.

In order to explore the most unexpected effects, Olivia Luce Meyer offers the chance to navigate through the tangible and intangible cultural heritage rooted in codified rituals. Diverse and varied, the staging of this exceptional day is a highly stimulating exercise for the social and sentimental representation of a family, a generation, a period. Fantasy and vision of a status built by the collective imagination, weddings transport us to the boundaries of traditions and contemporary desires. A ceremonial costume of great subtlety.

Olivia Luce Meyer is the curator of the exhibition and a professor of history and sociology of costumes and fashion. She also gives lessons on costume design.

In the frame of the exhibition Just Married, a history of marriage

Thursday September 15

N°13 Fashion, art and politics: a dangerous liaison or a marriage of madness?

N°13 Fashion, art and politics: a dangerous liaison or a marriage of madness?

With hindsight, Rose Bertin, the "Minister of Fashion" for Marie-Antoinette, is considered to be the unwitting factor behind the unpopularity of the last queen of France. Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, each in their own way, liberated modern women from the social corset that bound them: they became free to exist, act, move and express themselves through their clothes. Closer to the present day, Japanese fashion designers, students from Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts or from Saint Martin’s School, are behind the inspiration which aims to make fashion the manifesto for all liberties. Are Art and Politics the pillars of fashion?

Yann Kerlau was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Gucci group from 2000 to 2008. Nowadays, he devotes himself to writing historical or fashion books such as Les dynasties du luxe or Les secrets de la mode. He will be signing copies of the latter after the Leçon de Mode.

Thursday March 10, 2016

N°12 Olivier Theyskens. Images and memories from a career.

N°12 Olivier Theyskens. Images and memories from a career.
Romantic crinolines, Gothic silhouettes, sharp sketches, portraits by Irving Penn or Annie Leibovitz, the sensual dresses of Stella Tennant or Nicole Kidman, the revealing outfits of Madonna and Kirsten Pieters…

This lecture aims to explore the favourite images of the Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens, his family recollections and the fantasies of his youth. It retraces the Brussels connections of this creator, alternately based in Paris and New York, and documents a selection of his most beautiful creations, those made in his own name (from 1997 to 2002) and other work produced for Rochas (2002-2006), Nina Ricci (2006-2009) and Theory (2010-2014).

By Jean-Philippe Theyskens, art historian, lecturer for numerous cultural institutions and organisations, and Olivier's brother. N°11 All things English. Anglomania in men’s fashion.

Thursday January 14, 2016


England began leading the way in men’s fashion from the mid-18th century. 

Enlightened aristocrats in pre-revolution France dressed as country squires, symbolically protesting against the constraints of the absolute monarchy. The redingote – derived from riding coat – was the first garment with clear English symbolism. It was no coincidence that it was Napoleon Bonaparte’s favourite item of clothing. 

English supremacy in male elegance became a constant over a period of 200 years, a period that largely coincided with the heyday of the British Empire. 

An overview of the evolution of the male silhouette from the cravat of dandy Beau Brummell to the Beatle boots van de Mods. N°.10 In the presence of the past: corsets and crinoline in contemporary fashion

Thursday 22 October 2015


Between nostalgia and transgression, seeking a proud link with the past or a critical transformation, the reinterpretation by designers of forms, images and techniques from the past constitutes one of the major phenomena in fashion over the last few decades.
In appropriating corsets and crinoline, symbols of the triumphant bourgeoisie of the 19th century, contemporary designers are proposing a singular vision of fashion. From the ‘New Look’ of Christian Dior to the de-constructed versions of the Japanese or the extravagant Vivien Westwood variations from the English school, so many interpretations exist which highlight the multiple approaches designers can take.
What are the motivations of these designers and what purpose do they have in mind? This exhibition will reveal all and shed light on the way we think about fashion in these first few years of the 21st century.
Lydia Kamitsis is a fashion historian, independent curator and author of several specialised works, including the International Dictionary of Fashion. 

© Patricia Canino 

Thursday 10 September 2015

N°.9 The Belgians: an expected fashion story

N°.9 The Belgians: an expected fashion story
Belgian avant-garde fashion is much talked about. During the last Fashion Week in Paris, more than 10% of presented collections were made in Belgium. We of course know the names Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Raf Simons but others, like Haider Ackerman and A.F. Vandevorst, also made waves on the catwalk.
Using “Norine” - the top couture house of the interwar period - as a starting point, Nele Bernheim tells us the unexpected story and of the success of these Belgian creatives. She will also highlight the personal and artistic aesthetic of the greatest among them, notably Ann Salens and the famous Antwerp Six, who still enjoy international renown, as do their successors. 

Nele Bernheim is co-curator of the exhibition “The Belgians: an expected fashion story”, being held at Bozar and is a PHD candidate in History and Art Sciences at the University of Antwerp and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. 

©Cathy Pill 2005 - Alexandre Van Battel 2005 

The Artist Is Absent: a Short Film On Martin Margiela : www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulRtoMwxbHM 

19/03/ 2015

No 8 Jean Patou – From urchin to glamour

No 8 Jean Patou – From urchin to glamour
Jean Patou (1887-1936), couturier and perfume maker in Paris between the wars, was a modern man whose creations had a timeless air. An inventor of sportswear, creating a surprising blend of style and comfort, his couture house was one of the largest of the 1920s. Louise Brooks, Josephine Baker and Olympic tennis champion Suzanne Lenglen were leading ambassadors of his creations. In jersey or lamé, in a swimsuit or a golfing ensemble, the Patou woman was the embodiment of the “urchin” codes. As the 1930s dawned, he was the first to lengthen skirts to create a more glamorous silhouette... ©Archives Patou 

By Emmanuelle Polle, journalist and independent exhibition organiser. Author of several radio documentaries and a monograph on the couturier Jean Patou: Une vie sur mesure (Jean Patou: a life made to measure), she is the first researcher to have been granted access to the Patou family’s private archives (In French)

Thursday 23 October 2014

No 7 Annemie and her Muses

No 7 Annemie and her Muses
(As part of the 20 years of the Fashion trail)
For Annemie Verbeke, fashion is first and foremost a contemporary approach. Then comes the need for personal aesthetics, the wish to confront paradoxes such as the ephemeral and the timeless. 

Taking remarkable women as models: Charlotte Perriand, Francesca Woodman, Françoise Sagan, Nina Simone, Valentina or Nancy Cunard and Georgia O ‘Keeffe… Annemie documents, reads and composes mood boards (collages). She associates colours and sketches silhouettes, inspired by a wish for concision and passion. A truly physical and mental task. 

While creating a collection, she imagines a fictive encounter, a pause in the past, shedding light, in short, a second life. 
A fashion dialogue between Annemie Verbeke, designer and manager of the Maison Annemie Verbeke, and Anne-Françoise Moyson, journalist at the Weekend le Vif.

Thursday 5 June 2014 

No 6 The 30 years of Edouard Vermeulen at Natan

 No 6 The 30 years of Edouard Vermeulen at Natan
Edouard Vermeulen, head of the Maison Natan for over 30 years, no longer needs any introduction. But how did he manage to maintain the prestige of this institution of Belgian fashion? 

Through his personal style, adapted to today’s woman, active and elegant, while using the wealth of materials, "Monsieur Vermeulen" lends power to the simplicity of shapes. 

Caroline Esgain, head of collections at the Costume and Lace Museum, and Hilde Bellens, commercial manager at Natan, reveal the enthralling history of this firm, founded over 150 years ago. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014 

No 5 Couture Norine, Brussels The avant-garde of Belgian fashion, 1915-1952

No 5 Couture Norine, Brussels The avant-garde of Belgian fashion, 1915-1952
As part of the new exhibition at the Costume and Lace Museum: Glamour, 30’s Fashion Expo. 

Many people are unaware of the fact that current Belgian fashion, considered to be avant-garde, has a precursor: the Maison Norine. Run by the charismatic couple Honorine and Paul-Gustave Van Hecke, this couture house, founded in 1915, lay at the convergence of the most innovative artistic currents in Europe. 

Nele Bernheim, doctoral student in the History and Science of Art at the University of Antwerp and the Free University of Brussels, tells you the remarkable story of this emblematic institution and its collaboration with expressionists and surrealists, the leading exponent of which was René Magritte. 

Thursday 24 Novemer 2013

No 4 Cinéma & fashion

No 4 Cinéma & fashion
Depuis ses débuts ou presque, le cinéma a rencontré la mode. Il a d’abord rendu visible et «popularisé» des comportements, des façons de vivre et de parler nouvelles ou inconnues. Ensuite et surtout, il a fallu habiller les actrices et les acteurs et conférer au vêtement ou au «look», un rôle historique, psychologique ou dramatique. Rapidement, la mode est devenue un atout pour sublimer le corps des stars, objets de rêves et de désirs 

Par Jean-Michel Bertrand, Professeur en luxe et communication de marque à l’Institut Français de la Mode et d'esthétique et d'analyse filmique à L'Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs de Paris. 

Thursday 6 June 2013 

No 3 The Seventies or ready-to-wear conquers all

No 3 The Seventies or ready-to-wear conquers all
As part of the exhibition The Seventies, whatever you like and MADIFESTO 

For the first time in history, the street provided the impetus in fashion. Anything was possible, or almost, and creators shook up conformism to reinvent elegance. 

Young people brimming with energy completely overturned the dress codes. 

Young designers such as Emmanuelle Khanh, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Issey Miyake were given the opportunity to produce their collections thanks to the Créateurs & Industriels company, set up in 1971 by Didier Grumbach, who also responsible for promotion, coordination and distribution. 

By Mr Didier Grumbach, President of the French Federation of Couture, Ready to Wear by Couturiers and Fashion Creators. 

Thursday 17 January 2013 

No 2 Dior by Raf

No 2 Dior by Raf
How a leading brand adapts its codes of codes of creation and luxury to the 21st century

The arrival of Raf Simons has provided an opportunity for the famous couture house to revisit its codes. In two collections, Haute Couture and Ready to Wear, Raf Simons has already laid the foundations of a new style, more minimalist than that of his predecessor, John Galliano, but equally powerful. 

From dresses to accessories, from jackets to make-up and from shoes to hairstyles, the silhouettes of the two fashion shows will be analysed during this second lesson with a view to gaining a better feel for and understanding of this new creative vision and the impact it will have on the Dior world. 

Wednesday 28 November 2012

N°1 White Drama Comme des garçons and the Musée Galliera

N°1 White Drama Comme des garçons and the Musée Galliera
Why exhibit a collection that is still on sale in stores at the Museum? The City of Paris Fashion Museum, the Musée Galliera, took a gamble by showing the 2012 spring/summer collection of the Japanese brand Comme des garçons. Curator’s Assistant Alexandre Samson was to reveal the thinking behind this audacious and unusual step.