HISTORICAL COSTUME 03/12/2013 – 12/01/2014 Royal Academy of Antwerp, Fashion Department, 2nd bachelor degree

Dear Shaded Viewers,

Anyone that has atttended the Royal Academy of Antwerp's fashion show knows that the work of the Fashion Department's 2nd bachelor degree is based on the historical costume. During the exhibition Happy Birthday Dear Academie, the MoMu gallery hosts different small exhibitions relating to the curriculum of the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

The class of 2012-2013 will be shown in 4 exhibitions: 1BA (Attitude to a Shape), 2BA (Historical costumes), 3BA (Ethnic costumes) and the MA collections (MoMu Award). The development of these creations during the academic year of 2012-2013 can also be seen in the ‘Teaching Fashion’ film in the HBDA exhibition itself.

With the subject Historical Dress, each second year student chooses a historical figure with a typical costume from that period. I've always enjoyed this section as it shows the mastery that went into the development and construction of a garment. In order to arrive at the final product the student has to do intense research, which includes delving into the political, cultural and social structures of the time, as well as doing a detailed study of the fabrics , materials, patterns and forms characteristic of the age. During the first few months the students recreate the costume down to the smallest details. This includes undergarments as well as accessories , hair and make-up. 

The result is a contemporary improvisation using “calicot” cotton as a basic fabric and colour, and using the original document as a reference for recreating volumes, structures, decoration and colours.

This time-consuming assignment prepares the student for the work he/she will have to do during the next two terms, in which the emphasis lies in the creation of an ‘avant-garde’ fashion collection of five silhouettes. This consists of drawing and making complete outfits and selecting colours and materials, inspired by the research carried out in the first term.



Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.