QUINTEN MESTDAGH – IMAGES BY MICHAËL SMITS

Dear Shaded Viewers,

One of the highlights of the last show powered by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp was to discover Quinten Mestdagh’s incredible work, which had a tangible aura and presence on stage. A 3rd Year graduate, Mestdagh was inspired by the power of fashion imagery whilst looking for ways to disrupt it through his clothes: “I have always been attracted by highly stylized images in fashion magazines and advertisements. Last summer, I started collecting pictures in the archive of the MoMu library in Antwerp. With those images, I made collages and paper 3D experiments to create tension and roughness, contrasting with the beauty found in fashion photography. I then approached the garments as abstract panels for the images.” Made of printed fabrics applied on diverse materials, such as felt, paper and stiff vliselines, his pieces had a strange sense of elegance, despite their innate abstraction. The lines were sleek and sculptural, but a feeling of aggression could be felt in his prints, which made the silhouette powerful. Mestdagh used iconic faces, which are often referred to within the industry: “Some of the faces in the pictures are well-known fashion models or icons from the past, as well as present times. There’s Nico, Karen Elson, Princess Elizabeth of Toro, Penelope Tree… I was really looking for faces that had a kind of extreme beauty about them, but also something that’s a little off and mysterious.” Beautifully shot by Antwerp-based photographer Michaël Smits -and modeled by Luka van der Veken- Quinten Mestdagh’s garments are majestic and complex at once, showing women as fragmented selves and visual beings, reflecting our current obsession with representation, as well as singularity.

Best,

Philippe

ANTWERP FASHION DEPARTMENT 2017

Philippe Pourhashemi

A freelance fashion writer, consultant and stylist, Philippe Pourhashemi was born in Tehran in 1976. He grew up in Paris, before moving to Scotland to study Foreign Languages. His passions are fashion and culture, as well as music and film. He writes and styles features for Metal in Barcelona, Behind the Blinds in Brussels, Contributor in Stockholm, Veoir in New York and SKP in Beijing. He was named Fucking Young's Editor-at-Large in 2016 and has contributed to ASVOF since 2008, acting as Correspondent-at-Large since 2012. An avid traveler, he likes to explore exotic fashion weeks and unexpected destinations whenever he can.

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