Known for launching the careers of Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Martin Margiela and Haider Ackermann, the fashion department at the Antwerp Academy is the most closely viewed platform in the world for burgeoning designers. Artist Tara Dougans interpreted the breakout final collections from this year's seven graduating students, an
international mix hailing from Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium
and Japan. “I thought about all the talented people I have met who burn brightly, and the concept of ‘a moth to a flame,’” Dougans explains of her finely wrought graphite illustrations with an entomological twist. Avant-garde designer Walter Van Bierendonck, himself an illustrious alumnus and part of the Belgian super group known as the Antwerp Six, heads up the department and knows the weight of expectation that comes with the fiercely contested placement. "They graduate under the spotlight—watched by the world,” he says. “They have to be perfect from day one."
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