Dear Shaded Viewers,
I enjoyed attending the Royal Academy of Fine Arts graduation show in Antwerp last night. Color, embellishment, tailored cuts and subversive effects were some of the buzzwords defining the students' imaginative work and silhouettes. I was, in fact, particularly impressed with the 3rd Year Bachelor collections, which managed to be elegant, ironic and playful at the same time. Woojic Jo's "Hotel Memphis" was a personal highlight, twisting the motif of the hotel bellboy to turn it into a fashion statement. 10 students presented their clothes within the 4th Year Master's section and two collections clearly stood out for me. The first was Raffaela Graspointner's gorgeous lineup, blending oversize shapes with a fearless use of decoration and bright shades. Her collection was opulent, inspiring and perfectly balanced. I also loved Hyein Seo's punk take on the school girl and the anarchic slogans she used on her pieces and accessories. There was a definite sense that several students had moved on from the language of sportswear to embrace a new form of sophistication, which made the show exciting and enticing.