The Antwerp ModeMuseum (MoMu) opened its doors in September of 2002 with a commitment to creating ‘a context for fashion and clothing behaviour’, presenting fashion in its social, political and cultural context through adventurous and dynamic exhibits. A world away from the stiff and stuffy glass-fronted presentations of the traditional costume display, MoMu’s interdisciplinary exhibits tend to the adventurous and iconoclastic. As well as exquisite couture and historical pieces, over the years, the galleries have paid host to a tweed-covered vintage Porsche during the Veronique Branquinho exhibition, design masterpieces left design masterpieces exposed to the elements in courtyard for Yohji Yamamoto’s Dreamshop, and shown pioneering works of fashion film made in association with SHOWstudio for BLACK, Paper Fashion and Walter Van Beirendonck.
MoMu sees its archive of fashion and costume as a collective memory of the city of Antwerp, a reflection of the changing mores and humours of its inhabitants. The historical foundation of its archive came from the former Textile and Costume Museum and it has been augmented by bequests of historical pieces by collectors and by an ever-expanding collection of pieces by contemporary Antwerp designers from the 1980s to the present day. Under the directorship first of Linda Loppa, (then also the head of the Fashion Academy), and, more recently, of former senior curator Kaat Debo, MoMu has presented a programme of ground breaking exhibitions that have earned it a place among the leading fashion museums of the world.