The new exhibition at the Fashion Museum brings together painting and fashion on the theme of domestic bliss. Rik Wouters is the only painter from this part of the world to have combined post-impressionist painting techniques with simple domestic scenes; his primary inspiration came from his own marriage. His expressive brushstrokes and the unfinished style of his paintings give a dynamism to his work which, together with an emphasis on light and colour, results in a captivating, optimistic tone.

The contemporary revival of the search for domestic intimacy and nature and the renewed interest in traditional techniques are coupled in this exhibition with the utopian ideas of Henry David Thoreau’s book Walden. The notions of intimacy and security are found in both conceptual artists and applied designers.

Various Belgian fashion designers — including Dirk Van Saene, Bruno Pieters, Christian Wijnants, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, Martin Margiela, Marina Yee, Jan-Jan Van Essche and Anne Kurris — give their individual interpretations to these thoughts: some by choosing specific fabrics and techniques, and others through their idiosyncratic position in fashion, in which they do not give praise to the hectic pace of the fashion world.

This exhibition is a partnership between MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (kmska) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of painter Rik Wouters in 2016. The exhibition brings together work by Rik Wouters from the KMSKA collection and pieces by contemporary artists and fashion designers.