MAD – Brussels Fashion and Design Platform – in collaboration with hub.brussels invited The Cartel to visit the Brussels fashion scene and review the work of twelve selected Brussels-based designers. The venue, which hosted the showroom, is referred to as Showroom#18, and is a beautiful architectural building consistent of three interconnected buildings with bright spaces and shiny white exteriors.
The event opened with a guided tour of ‘It’s My Own’, an exhibition of Thierry Rondenet and Herve Yvrenogeau, the duo who started ‘Own’ Label in 1999. Beyond being a mere retrospective, the exhibition featured collaborations with graphics designers, artists and florists to celebrate a world of the eponymous label which lasted until 2007. Ever since, Own has been collaborating with fashion houses such as Margiela, Gucci and Balenciaga and the designers went on to becoming fashion educators in Belgium’s La Cambre and Paris.
May Barber, who is accustomed to working closely with emerging designers, met with the MAD Brussels designers, who each presented their latest collection in ready to wear and accessories, and shared market insights and feedback on the work. Later, we visited some concept stores in Brussels to further understand the fashion ecosystem, most notably Stijl where we met with Belgium’s Fashion Figure Sonja Noel, the woman who started the first fashion platform in Belgium and the first to showcase the famous Belgian avant garde Designers known as ‘The Antwerp Six’.
The visit was concluded by a fashion show of the students of Belgium’s fashion school, La Cambre, where the students unleashed their creativity and continued to challenge fashion norms in a performance-lead fashion show.
Text by: May Barber
Photography by: ©mikomikostudio