Flemish designer wows Amsterdam with tribute to Fabiola
A fashion designer from Genk last week took the Amsterdam fashion world by storm with a collection inspired by the clothes worn in 1958 by Queen Fabiola. Ann Boogaerts, aged 23, won the G-Star Raw Talent Award, worth €10,000 and the chance to appear at New York Fashion Week in September.
Boogaerts is studying at the Academy for Visual Arts in Arnhem, and was one of 14 students selected from academies across the Netherlands to take part in Amsterdam Fashion Week. One of the experts present, Lucas Ossendrijver of the house of Lanvin, said her collection was "very fresh and technically very well made".
"I have a lot of admiration for Fabiola," Boogaerts said later. "She reminds me of my grandmother, always elegant and gracious." The collection included high collars, narrow skirts, embroidery and, for the models, the big hairstyle which has become Fabiola's trademark over the years.
"The designs were deliberately kept very sober," Boogaerts said. "I regularly tried them on myself. That sort of minimalism is typical for Dutch fashion. But with the embroidery work I brought a Belgian accent to the whole. I also love colour. The Dutch are more daring on that front than the Belgians. It's not so common here in Flanders to see a man walking around in red trousers. For my collection, I chose the colours of the Belgian and the Dutch flags."
Boogaerts decided to study in Arnhem after being intimidated by her fellow students at the world-renowned academy in Antwerp. "I was barely 18, and totally different from the others, who had come from all over the world to study in Antwerp. At that point I felt totally out of place, so I completed my first year in Maastricht, then went on to do my second year in Arnhem, which is the Dutch equivalent of Antwerp."