Spread over several floors at Nationalestraat 28, ModeNatie (www.modenatie.com) is a lavish and extraordinarily ambitious fashion complex, which incorporates both the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Flanders Fashion Institute. As such, it reflects the international success of local designers, beginning in the 1980s with the so-called “Antwerp Six” – including Dries van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Marina Yee and Martin Margiela – and continuing with younger designers like A.F. Vandevorst, Stephan Schneider and Tim Vansteenbergen; all are graduates of the academy. Part of the building contains a fashion museum, MoMu (www.momu.be), whose adventurous and thought-provoking temporary displays cover a lot of ground – everything from the walking stick as fashion statement through to the evolution of the trench coat.

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