Flanders Fashion Institute

The whole world knows that Belgium is an absolute fashion country. Besides our famous fashion academies we have some renowned and prominent creators. Designers like Christophe Coppens, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Oliver Theyskens conquer the world with their expertise and phenomenal visions.

Our belgian fashion well has not run dry because ladies and gentlemen the newbies are here. But we all know that networking is the key when it comes to fashion. This is where Flanders Fashion Institute (FFI) comes in. FFI acknowledges the power and the talent of belgian designers and artists. By establishing showroom events they give these young men and women a unique scaffolding to present their talent to the realm of fashion. So do not miss this showroom event on Thursday September 29 during Paris fashion week.

Today I was at the showroom event and here is my opinion about some of the uber-endowed newbies: Talitali By Zhao LiMonsieur BulElisabeth ClaesWolf. By Sofie ClaesBlack Balloon 

Talitali By Zhao Li 
How can creepy insects look that interesting and inviting? When you see these enlarged creations you just want to investigate them and simply wear them. They are like killer accessories and they definitely make a statement. The craftsmanship of the Talitali creatures is pretty exceptional and intriguing.

Monsieur Bul 
The collection of Julien Brennecke and Sébastien Denies drew my attention immediately. I was attracted by the fascinating colors and phenomenal shapes of the clothing. Their designs remind me of Paule Ka. But this is like a young, fresh, sophisticated, playful Paule Ka-looking collection. You can feel a strong vision behind every single piece. To me the use of color was the most genius part. It was always the right kind of peach, blue or green. Spot on, spot on! 

Elisabeth Claes 
I always love to debate about the fine line between fashion and art. When I met Elisabeth Claes I could feel her balancing on that fine line. She experiments with unusual materials, paint and architectural shapes. The results are very fairy-like creations. You can stare at the designs for hours and unravel the story behind the creatures. How pure, honest, absorbing can a collection be? Her designs tell a complete story, it is as if she created her own fashion dimension.  But what I love about her is the fact that she allows herself to grow. You just want to follow her because you know that there is so much more to come.

Wolf. by Sofie Claes 
Wolf by Sofie Claes was the most confusing collection to me. Her designs are so pure and perfect. She works with basic forms and colors and she creates the most perfect eminent architectural pieces. Sofie understands the power of clean lines, but at the same time this is what makes her collection so testing. The clean cuts create a straight silhouette that is not easy to wear. This in-between generates a schizophrenic illusion, but one that takes your breath away.

Black Balloon 
The power and the radiation of Chléo Baele and Sarah Bos is undeniable. These strong women create stout complete head-to-toe collections for men and women. The ladies have an impeccable taste but above all they know what the market wants. The versatility of this duo is never-ending and this is what makes Black Balloon such a wicked brand.  I was blown away by their vision, enthusiasm and creativity. 

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