The exhibition "RECOLLECTION QUARTETT" is a joint project between
Mercedes-Benz and the Fashion Museum Antwerp in Belgium (ModeMuseum, or MoMu), which opened in 2002. With an extensive collection, representing five centuries of fashion, and two large-scale exhibitions of contemporary work each year, the MoMu has already built up a considerable reputation.
The historical collection is made up of exhibits from the former textile and costume museum Vrieselhof and comprises clothing, lace, embroidery, fabrics, patterns and equipment used in textile craftsmanship, such as old printing blocks. The MoMu is thus a sort of collective wardrobe, in which the memories of centuries are preserved.
The changing exhibitions, each devoted to a specific theme or to the work of an internationally renowned fashion designer, are characterised by their surprising architecture and by the unusual way in which the exhibits are displayed. MoMu has, for example, made a name for itself with spectacular solo exhibitions by Yohji Yamamoto, Bernhard Willhelm, Maison Martin Margiela and Stephen Jones.
"As a museum, we are exceptionally sensitive to qualitatively outstanding design. To this end, we collaborate with an excellent network of contemporary designers, graphic designers, photographers and exhibition designers. We allow ourselves to be nourished by young and new creative talent and the cross-pollination that this generates, giving our exhibitions their specific MoMu signature", commented Kaat Debo, Director of MoMu. "In this first collaboration with Mercedes-Benz, we continue this method of working, inviting five highly talented designers. It is fantastic that Mercedes has given us the opportunity to associate what is in fact a daring vision to a part of Mercedes-Benz history."
Participating artists and designers
Frederik Heyman studied graphic design and illustration at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and earned a second Masters in photography at the same time. In addition to his work as a fine artist, he is also a fashion photographer, applying a comparable, stylised approach to his work. He takes meticulous care in the way he dresses people and decors. In his words: "My images are both illustrations and photographs. They always begin at the same point, but their translation into a given medium can vary."
Since establishing his own label, in association with Jutta Kraus, in 1999, Bernhard Willhelm, born in Ulm in southern Germany, has never ceased building his imaginative, happily crazy universe. Initially focusing on women's wear, his first collection was presented in Paris in March 1999. In January 2003, he presented a menswear collection at the Paris Men's Fashion Week. Bernhard Willhelm trained in fashion design at the Antwerp Academy, graduating in 1998. He has worked as an assistant to Walter Van Beirendonck, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Dirk Bikkembergs. He has had solo exhibitions of his work at the Fashion Museum in Antwerp (2007) and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands (2009).
Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are the designers behind the Peter Pilotto label. Pilotto is Austrian-Italian and De Vos is Belgian-Peruvian. They met while studying at the fashion department of the Antwerp Academy in 2000. Peter Pilotto's vision of women's wear embraces both new and classic perspectives on elegance. Otherworldly prints are combined with soft, sculptural shapes to create the unique signature of this design duo, which is not reactionary, but evolves and is explored with each new season.
The designer Henrik Vibskov is most commonly associated not only with his fashion label, but with a multitude of twisted, yet tantalising universes created in the context of each of his collections: Big Wet Shiny Boobies, The Land of the Black Carrots and The Fantabulous Bicycle Music Factory are just a few titles of the shows that he has recently presented. Each title refers to a different, equally mesmerising world and system of logic. As a fashion designer, Henrik Vibskov has produced fourteen collections since graduating from Central St Martin's in London in 2001. He is currently the only Scandinavian designer on the official show schedule of the Paris Men's Fashion Week, where he has presented collections since January 2003.
From 2000 to 2002, Japanese-born Mikio Sakabe studied at the École de Mode Internationale (ESMOD) in Paris. He continued his studies in fashion design at the Antwerp Academy, finishing in 2006. That same year, he won the Fashion Special Prize at ITS#FIVE in Trieste, Italy. Sakabe presented his first collection at the 2007 Paris Fashion Week. His garments are clearly inspired by subcultures. Mixing both Oriental and Western cultures, Mikio Sakabe's collections infuse a Japanese style with modern European techniques.