It is impossible to define them by one catchall aesthetic. The Antwerp Six, as they were known, included Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee, Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk Bikkembergs-all alumni of Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and are considered the founders of avant-garde, intellectual fashion. Funereal, deconstructed, sportief-bohemian, and artful are some of the adjectives used to describe The Antwerp Six fashion designers. We embarked on a search for a new radical wave of recent graduates from Royal Academy of Fine Arts, however in a world, where the only constant is change, the results we present are both striking and unexpected. Meet The Future Antwerp Six.
The Future Antwerp Six.
Part 2. Lion Blau.
Born. Germany / Resides. New York / Age: 24 / Aesthetic: futurist, utopian, organic, alienWhat has crucially influenced your decision to go on with fashion and design in the first place? I was always interested in interhuman relationships and philosophies, ideologies and society. A few years ago I found fashion as the best form of art to work with those topics. It represents extreme forms of antagonisms. It can be authentic and fake, serious and comical, progressive and conservative and so on. How do you get inspired? Do you look at fashion sources, which ones? I mostly get inspired by scientific topics: physics or biology, human or nonhuman, also social themes. In a way it’s all about human ideologies. If I get inspired by some sort of fish, I always connect it with human life. It’s logical because my clothes have to be worn by humans.
If you were one of the original Antwerp 6, which one would you choose to be? What about their style/design aesthetic that attracts you? Probably it would be a mixture between Dries and Walter - sophistication, politics, extremes. Polarizing. Fun. Colourful. Do you plan to remain in Antwerp? How would you describe the difference between Antwerp as a fashion city compared to Paris, or London, or Milan? I left Antwerp last summer after finishing. Right now I am jumping between New York and Europe. Antwerp is more the fashion/design production city. It is quite, small, intimate, private. It is perfect for an artist to stay in his atelier and work. After finishing you can get out to Paris and show it, where everybody is gonna watch. On the other hand Antwerp can be too small and quite for a few people. I guess I am one of those.
Do you ever see yourself working in the fast fashion environment? What about a collaboration with a fast fashion brands? I definitely do, but I guess I will have to figure this one out once I am there. Can "Antwerp's" revolution in fashion happen again in the future? Definitely. I think especially now fashion needs a new kind of revolution. The students in Antwerp are amazing. Everybody is coming from so many different interesting places. There probably is no other school in the world where so many strong characters meet. We learn to fight. That’s a very valuable lesson.
Is there a limit to fashion innovation? No. Things always renew. We just should not try too hard. Is fashion an art? Is art wearable? Disposable? Fashion is art, so art is wearable, and wearable is disposable.