Madame's insider-guide: Antwerp with Kaat Debo
THE FASHION MUSEUM IS ONE OF THE BEST ADDRESSES IN THE BELGIAN PORT CITY. DIRECTOR KAAT DEBO TELLS US HER FAVORITE PLACES FOR LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE in Antwerp
When Kaat Debo was hired as a curator for the newly opened MoMu Fashion Museum in Antwerp in 2001, most museums had no idea that fashion exhibitions brought many visitors and lots of money. She has been the director of the museum since 2009 and is responsible for two exhibitions a year - such as "Dries Van Noten: Inspirations" (2015) and "Margiela: The Hermès Years" (2017), which then moved on to Paris and is currently on show in Sweden. Since the last exhibition "Olivier Theyskens - She walks in Beauty", the MoMu has been closed for renovation work. After reopening in autumn 2020, the largest collection of contemporary Belgian fashion will be on show, with more than 33,000 pieces in total.
Kaat Debo studied literature and philosophy in Antwerp and Berlin. Her demands on every exhibition are holistic and begin with the right mannequins. Because it's actually difficult to show fashion in a museum because it has to be worn. The exhibitions at MoMu illustrate the influence of Belgium, especially Antwerp, on the fashion world in elaborate, individual scenes for which Kaat Debo cooperates with various designers. Dries Van Noten, for example, designed the rooms for "Inspirations", Martin Margiela participated in "The Hermès Years". For MADAME, Kaat Debo has put together the best cultural, shopping and pleasure spots in the design-loving port city.
The park, which covers about 30 hectares, is also an open-air museum with a collection of over 100 sculptures distributed throughout. On display are modern and contemporary works by artists such as Maillol, Rodin, Renoir, Bourdelle, Arp, Ai Weiwei and Erwin Wurm. middelheimmuseum.be
Dries Van Notens beautiful flagship store is located in a characteristic 19th century building. It is worth a visit, even if it is only for window shopping. Van Noten often cooperates with artists to design its windows. driesvannoten.be
The theatre is a neoclassical building, which can be visited on weekends for coffee and cake in addition to the performances. toneelhuis.be