October is Fashion Month in Brussels. Celebrate fashion that's beautiful and sustainable !

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Published at 14/10/2020
By Richard Harris

Whether you’re a diehard fashionista, a fashion professional or just a curious passer-by, Brussels Fashion Month has lots to offer. There are exhibitions, fashion shows, conferences, workshops and documentary films.

Fashion on display

Strike a pose! What does that well-known fashion exhortation mean these days? Who is posing for whom? Are the established fashion houses in charge or do the internet spawned influencers lead the pack? Diana Vreeland’s motto was “Always stylish, never trendy.” What would the peerless icon say today? What is stylish and what is merely trendy? What about the much alluded to End of Fashion?

How does a museum devoted to fashion pursue its mission these days? What pieces does it acquire for its collections? What is its role and how does it balance the ephemeral, unessential glories at the heart of fashion with more ethical, inclusive, ecological realities?  In an age of new techniques and materials, of profit fueled trends and moral imperatives what does a fashion museum hold on to? There are so many questions in a rapidly changing world. Find out the answers and raise some questions of your own at the Fashion and Lace Museum as it exposes itself.

The Fashion and Lace Museum (Ex)poses itself, > 03/01/21

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Mode Bruxelles musée - (c) Museum of Fashion and Lace

Belgian men’s fashion designers are among the most influential in the world, but no Belgian museum had yet devoted a show to men’s fashion. In contrast with the natural world where the males of the species tend to have showy, colourful plumage and the females are more drab, modern man was imprisoned in a sober coat and tie and reduced to nothing but trousers below the waist. In fact, before the 18th century, western men were more often than not a peacock. The Masculinities exhibition at the Fashion and Lace Museum shows how images of masculinity have evolved, especially in the last forty years, during which men have slowly been escaping their fashion strait jackets. This liberating trend that has accelerated with the continual expansion of discussions and questioning of gender and prescribed roles. On display will be pieces by Belgian designers Raf Simons, Walter Van Beirendonck, Namacheko, Mosaert, Xavier Delcour and Vêtement. There will also be pieces from international designers Off-White, Jean Paul Gaultier, John Stephen, Giorgio Armani, Comme des Garçons and Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm Mc Laren. All of the items exhibited that will celebrate the creativity and talent of contemporary designers, while at the same time, tracing the evolution of men’s fashion as it reflects the evolution of the notion of masculinity or, more precisely, of the many masculinities of contemporary society.

The Fashion and Lace Museum: Masculinities, > 13/06/21

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We’re allowing ourselves to extend on from October into November to include this market put on by the Czech Republic, Estonia, the Faroe Islands, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden to present what they do best in ecologically responsible, short supply chain, and upcycling fashion and design. Workshops will focus on upcycling, which is the creative reuse and the repurposing of unwanted products into new materials, which, in fashion, often involves taking old clothes and creating new clothes of higher value without using any new resources.  Organised by EUNIC Brussels (European Cultural Institutes Network) in partnership with MAD Brussels and the Halles Saint-Géry where it will be held.

Fair Design Fair – European Sustainable Fashion and Design Market, 07/11/20 > 08/11/20

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Rethinking Fashion

The De Markten Cultural Center will host an afternoon and evening of events and activities to deconstruct and rethink the fashion industry with regards to the status and wellbeing of its workers worldwide and its global ecological footprint. If you try to purchase clothing responsibly, to upcycle and recycle but you feel at a loss when it comes to having a real impact on the textile industry, this day is for you!

Who makes your clothes? In what conditions? How can we consume differently? How to support the workers in the third world? How can we help to transform the industry in a human and ecological way? Behind the Label will lead a discussion that will enable you to take action to fight the Fast Fashion system.

The day’s activities will include a window shopping session unlike any you’ve been on. You’ll find out all about the sometimes unpleasant truths of the Fast Fashion world and how to hold their feet to the fire when it comes to respecting human rights. There will be a brunch followed by conferences on the history of pollution and exploitation in the industry as well as the devising of solutions: the ecological and ethical clothes of tomorrow. Is the label Made in Europe a guarantee of decent working conditions? The screening of a documentary shot in North Macedonia will raise these issues. After an evening cocktail the screening of the movie Precious will juxtapose the life of an Indian worker and a European consumer.

Due to pandemic regulations participants are urged to sign up for workshops ahead of time. Showing up on the day of the event is possible but places are limited.

Behind the Label: A Day of Resistance to Fast Fashion, 10/09/20

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