ra is an interactive boutique and space staging fashion presentations and shows, art and video performances, site-specific installations, parties, exhibitions, publication launches and music gigs.
ra promotes projects from local and international names – inviting collaborators to realise their aesthetic in both temporary and permanent installations.
ra is a global vehicle for young talent, travelling to other capitals to exhibit unique collections and projects with a new generation of artists and fashion designers.
the 800sqm space houses two fashion floors, an art gallery, music corner, bookshop and ra kitchen that work together as a marketplace alive with ideas and products.
ra is a space where the exhibition becomes more than visual and where the designer’s universe is installed.

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kloosterstraat 13, antwerp 2000, belgium
phone: +32 (0) 3292 3780 fax: +32 (0) 3292 3789

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in the middle of paris in " le marais"

ra was initiated in antwerp as an enterprise to support young artists + independent fashion
we have begun a series of international exhibitions to carry their unique messages to a wider
cultural sphere. the common thread between all our artists is their use of fashion as a medium to
express their worlds – creating pieces that transform their wearer, often crossing into the realms of
wearable art.
from quiet beginnings in the antwerp academy or studies across the globe, each creator offers a
strong personal vision utilising artisanal techniques + experimental textiles to realise their one-off
garments. supporting their medium of fashion, all of our collaborators present various multimedia +
installation art that continues to tell their own stories – through photography, sculpture, video art,
drawing, painting or collections of found objects.
narelle dore (australia)
paula selby avellaneda (argentina)
daniel andresen (germany)
kia utzon (denmark)
romain brau (france)
dimitri afanasenko (ukraine)
elise gettliffe (france)
anna kushnerova (russia) + hiroko hirasawa (japan)
lliure briz (spain)
irene alvarez (spain)
sayaka yamamoto (japan)
pierre-antoine vettorello + marie le traon (france)
hicham berrada (morocco)
sophie gaucher (france)
kloosterstraat 13
antwerp 2000
phone: +32 (0) 3292 3780 fax: +32 (0) 3292 3789

SS11 exhibition, paris

narelle dore
narelle dore projects a bright aura of quirky + organic energy through her intricate collections of textural women’s
daywear. harking from perth in western australia, narelle has studied at the antwerp academy, before launching her
line independently in antwerp. her works hold a homespun quality, with techniques such as crochet, macramé +
delicate cutouts. her silhouettes include traditional smock-shaped dresses, cropped blouses + paneled skirts, +
handmade fabric jewellery.
for ss11, narelle has been researching magical salt gardens, japanese boro garments, house plants such as the
snake plant (sansevieria trifasciata) + swiss cheese plant / delicious monster (monstera deliciosa), all influencing
her newest laser cutting + engraving techniques. alongside her collection, narelle will be experimenting with growing
magic gardens within her exhibition space.
paula selby avellaneda
Argentinean-born paula selby avellaneda has recently uprooted to london, after completing her studies at the
antwerp academy in 2010. paula graduated with her collection “clean up nicely”, an adolescent nightmare of prom
queens + horror film references realised in a mish-mash of shredded + sliced fabrics. her girly-turned-goth
silhouettes were realised with both classical + experimental fabrics, such as glow-in-the-dark beading, shredded
tweeds, latex + chains.
establishing the research group house of matching colours with eva moari, paula studies fashion textile
development from her new east london ‘lab’, with a focus on creating unique pieces for performers + artists.
for the ra exhibition, paula will exhibit her graduation collection alongside a ‘hurricane-speaker’ installation.
daniel andresen
german knitwear designer daniel andresen presents his second menswear collection for ss11, building upon his
extensive technical knowledge of yarn + leatherwork learnt at the antwerp academy. daniel offers a luxurious line that
fuses elegant soft lines with sportswear contrasts, for a relaxed but measured sensibility. working in a dark, shady
palette + inspired by architectural forms, daniel garners his latest inspiration from the catacombs of paris, the sandy
deserts + a night he spent in a seaside hotel. for the ra exhibition, seek his collection down the dark stairs in our
basement space.
kia utzon
danish jewellery designer kia utzon takes an unconventional approach to age-old materials, creating amber + silver
pieces that defy traditional codes entering into a futuristic realm.
usually associated with classical + tribal settings, kia takes amber to a new level, casting it as a brilliant fiery eye
amidst mechanical settings, inspired by the movement of an armadillos back.
kia has collaborated with danish fashion designer nicholas nybro jensen on a collection inspired by the danish ‘open
sandwich’, with flexible rings that mold around the finger, with slices of precious materials hinged together on silver.
romain brau
parisian menswear designer romain brau tells us he was ‘born in the sea’, and found his way on land to begin ra with
anna kushnerova, after studying at the antwerp academy. designing costumes to make people dream, romain has
developed an opulent portfolio of richly embellished pieces that reference baroque + tribal costumes with fur, feathers
+ crystals as his luxurious materials of choice. his collections can be found hanging in ra + midwest (tokyo).
for the ra exhibition, romain offers a sculptural installation alongside his spring summer 2011 menswear collection,
inspired by “marked literary inferiority” in the poems of the “satyricon” by herbert h. huxley.
photograph by martin bing
dimitri afanasenko
russian conceptual artist dimitri afanasenko unfolds a sensitive display of painting and installation works from his
personal journey through the decay of memory + sensory experience. dimitri completed his diploma in 2009 at the
ecole nationale supérieure des beaux arts de paris, and has recently exhibited in MoMa’s PS1 space in NY, +
london’s dover street market.
through layered expressions of decrepit and abandoned locations, dimitri builds an abstract narrative that contrasts
natural + manmade destruction, with black + white photography of his disturbed environments accented with violent
oil colours.

elise gettliffe
french designer elise gettliffe breathes a new bohemian, theatrical life into menswear – with her fantastical designs
that bring the circus to the street. graduating from the antwerp academy in 2008, elise headed to trieste for ITS#7 +
ITS#8, + has been working in antwerp ever since.
for the ra exhibition, elise offers her first capsule collection of shoes + socks for men + women, crafting moccasins by
h+ in her atelier, inspired by stars, geometry + pyrogravure.
hide a.h
hide a.h is a fashion project by hiroko hirasawa (tokyo, bunka fashion college & antwerp fashion academy)
and anna kushnerova (siberia, antwerp fashion academy). anna is director and founder of ra.
hide a.h features specific and limited womenswear collections, accessory and shoe projects.
for the ra exhibition, hide a.h offers series 2: heroes.
‘heroes’ will animate you. it is a schoolgirl fantasy – the uniform becomes a fetish. she wears a spacesuit beneath her
lliure briz
lliure briz is a 26 year old spanish visual artist studying, living + working in antwerp, belgium. her site-specific works +
“visual operas” hold a shadowy playfulness – experimenting with light + movement, film + photography, involving a
scientific appreciation of the natural world around us, be it elements of the natural world or the human form. lliure’s
recent experimentation with fashion practice has led her to create garments with translucid fabrics + digital printing,
as well as testing different processes of treating the print image.
for the ra exhibition, lliure will project a new video work onto the walls of the space, accompanied by her textile
irene alvarez
hailing from madrid in spain, conceptual + textile artist irene alvarez studied fine arts before completing her masters
in sculpture at the royal academy of fine arts in antwerp, belgium.
irene’s illustrations and sculptural works hold a tribal, child-like appeal that reveals deeper sociopolitical questioning
upon closer inspection. weaving heavy carpet-like textiles, irene’s cartoonlike embroidery includes both subtle + overt
references to latin american art and textiles, with comments on consumerism + technology.
for the ra exhibition, irene will exhibit her latest creation – an ethnic-inspired fabric tipi.
sayaka yamamoto
japanese jewellery + industrial designer sayaka yamamoto is one half of eindhoven-based duo bcxsy. her handmade,
artisanal ranges fuse unexpected materials to create intricate objets d’art, far removed from traditional notions of
jewellery design. past projects have included rubber butterfly brooches, printed with the wing designs of genuine
species, and disney cartoon toys re-stitched into beaded necklaces.
her latest series is called collecssion, a made-up word about collecting and obsession. for the ra exhibition sayaka
will display her three new collections (second life, tuber + sketch 1 pine) – brooches inspired by the delicate world of
pierre antoine vittorello + marie le traon
both hailing from france, pierre antoine + marie have worked together on various projects for some years, since
meeting at ENSAAMA school in paris then both pursuing further studies in the antwerp academy + brussels’ la
cambre respectively.
specialising in knitting, marie has helped pierre antoine to realise some of his most technical pieces, for “light me up”,
his graduation collection that will show at the ra exhibition.
“light me up” plays with fire – in dramatic, tribal silhouettes that explore rough ways of cutting, feathers, ebony wood +
painted beads. accompanying the collection is a stunning collection of photographs by celebrated belgian
photographer ronald stoops.
hicham berrada
24 year old artist hicham berrada was born in casablanca, morrocco + moved to paris to study at the ecole nationale
supérieure des beaux arts de paris in 2004. intrigued by the development of alchemy + the mystic sciences of the
18th century, hicham’s work crosses between artistic mediums + borrows from the analogies of swedish playwright
johan august strindberg.
“i try to work as a scientist, trying to find the wonder of a child before the world + approach our unconscious desires.”
for the ra exhibition, hicham will display his sculpture “le temps suspendu #3”.
sophie gaucher
rather than hanging her works in full view on a wall, parisian artist sophie gaucher prefers “the forgotten places”,
choosing to place her ceramic sculptures, videos + illustrated works in hidden corners, on the floor + other locations
that force the viewer to search + discover.
exploring an organic + erotic vision of transfigured humans + animal creatures, sophie’s installations tend to whisper
quietly to the viewer, suggesting mythologies of macabre dance, ritual + magic.

One year in details

ra exhibition ss11 – returning to the marais in paris (but in an exciting new space) the ra ss11 exhibition during womens fashion week was
a wonderland of creative installations by our international guest collaborators. a cocktail event of october 2nd was a raging success, with
many new faces & old friends coming to explore the little piece of antwerp in paris. a new partnership with the beaux arts’ academy in paris
allowed wonderful new artists to join us, alongside several loyal names who exhibited for fw10.
narelle dore / paula selby avellaneda / daniel andresen / kia utzon / romain brau / dimitri afanko / elise gettliffe / hide a.h. / lliure briz / irene
alvarez / sayaka yamamoto / pierre-antoine vettorello & marie le traon / hicham berrada / sophie gaucher
too sugary – a crowd of fashionistas in crazy headwear could be seen meandering from the brilliant exhibition of stephen jones millinery at
the momu down the road to kick up their heels & hold onto their hats for the “too sugary” afterparty at ra. lasting well into the night, guests let
loose to the dj stylings of pop rules & the motley crue of ra djs.
camper/bernhard willhelm party – on the 23rd of september ra and camper threw a party to celebrate the launch of the bernhard willhelm
shoe colab, with tropical scenery, crazy coloured snacks & happy party people. delicious cocktails flowed & there was a stunning
performance by pete randy and a sizzling dj-set by villa. this night was the unofficial beginnings of ra’s secretlover affair…

sunset vintage reception – ra and Labels Inc. hosted an exclusive collaboration for fw2010 with a selection of vintage fashion for sale,
curated by Labels Inc.’s erna vandekerckhove at ra. extending the ra vintage corner, erna presented pieces from her own private collection
& the archives of houben and francis, including pieces from the early 20th century as well as designers such as yohji yamamoto, balenciaga,
junya watanabe, chanel & claude montana. the sunset champagne shopping preview on september 4th was a jovial affair, with guests
enjoying champagne from piper heidsieck and kinky fashion cakes featuring karl lagerfeld and anna wintour (seen like never before!).
collecssion – japanese designer sayaka yamamoto presented her latest collection of handmade brooches and other unique jewellery
pieces through the ra corridor, offering her works like a museum exhibit by presenting her pieces like found organic specimens in perspex
cases. she accompanied the collections with her own intricate illustrations, published in a 20-page limited edition book, on sale with ra
printed matter. 3 separate series “second life”, “tuber” and “sketch 1 – pine” were created from such unusual materials as toy soldiers &
vintage buttons, & inspired by new life & alternate perspectives of nature.
narelle dore afternoon tea – australian designer narelle dore hosted an intimate afternoon tea with her fw 2010-11 collection in the back
garden and atrium of ra. her capsule of twenty handmade, feminine pieces was based on a series of pinhole camera photos narelle made at
the salt lakes near her hometown of perth in australia. narelle hung the garments across panels of stained stable wood, for an effect that
echoed the ‘homespun’ nature of her concept. guests were treated to special spiced teas from local organic collective otark productions and
a soundtrack from noted local artist and dj dennis tyfus. narelle produced a limited edition pattern of her ‘sunray blouse’ for purchase on the
its#9 ra award – ra announced the recipient of the 2010 inaugural ra award at the ITS#9 fashion competition in trieste, awarded to 3rd year
antwerp academy designer niels peeraer, with his collection “kisokuzy akai no dorei geishan 58-65″.
niels’ chose to show his collection on a lithe group of asian boys, as a relevant social piece that asks us to look past gender to see his
utopian beauty. the garments were an array of body conscious stretch corsetry, high-waisted skirts, artfully-draped silk dresses and bondage
harnesses worn with coats. accessories were crafted from equestrian equipment – tying in with his study of the japanese “ponyplay” fetish,
when people dress as horses.
mxxx media – the MXXX media exhibition brings together an unusual assortment of created and found objects from five international artists,
with a visual and tactile feast of pale, cool colours and textures. in MXXX media, responders were engaged in a battle between the synthetic
and the organic – as materials and intent are never exactly what they seem.
featuring: du wei wei / florian tomballe / loes everaert / charlotte grandgaignage / denitsa
swash balloons – following in the “dream machine” theme of their spring summer 2010 collection, the illustrating & silk-printing duo of
‘swash london’ hung hand-made hot air balloons through the downstairs fashion floor, suspended from the ceiling grid around their
psychadelic, surrealist collection of fringed scarves, silk cardigans & leggings.
SHOW 2010 week – australian-belgian fashion photographer sonny vandevelde exhibited a series of his backstage shots from the 2009
SHOW. featuring the collections of emilie pirlot, juan hernandez daels, irina shaposhnikova, elise gettliffe, alexandra verscheuren, lea dickley
& stephanie bösl. alongside the photographs, five graduates offered a silhouette for exhibition. on the second night of 2010 SHOW, sonny
and ra hosted the BACKSTAGE party, with DJ Darko and ra dj’s entertaining guests all evening.
christophe coppens VITRINE – brussels-based milliner christophe coppens decorated the ra entrance hut with his extraordinary
interpretation of “slow fashion” for the 2010 edition of the antwerp VITRINE project. he filled the small space with wild objects from his
atelier, from the start to the finish of his production process as a hat maker. from sequined knives to porcelain statues, horoscopes and
human skulls, the space was fantastical, grungy and kitsch.
ponyhof – ra exhibited works from five emerging painters in the exhibition “progressive recuperation of the clichés”, exploring how painters
reclaim violent, innocent, nostalgic and cinematic clichés from mass media to explore the ambivalence and places of resistance in
postmodern daily life.
featuring: celine felga / aurelien dupuis / pim arends / nicolas van kerckhoven / jan de laure
consume gorilla shop, gorilla consume shop, a special project of trajector art fair for ART BRUSSELS 2010. at the invitation
of centrifugal projects & hotel bloom, ra curated an intimate selection of creative projects, including elise gettliffe’s ss10 menswear collection,
an artwork by ponyhof artist céline felga, sayaka yamamoto’s “penna” brooches, lena lumelsky’s BLACK theatre, and nico dockx & helena
sidiropoulos’s “projet pour un film, projet pour un livre” artist book.
black vintage – three collectors came together for the ra BLACK exhibition to present their archives of black vintage garments akiko, romain
and verlaine gathered a selection of black silhouettes from the early 20th century up until the 1990’s in unusual patterns, textures and rich
fabrics. from elegant cocktail wear to futuristic tailoring, they explored 20th century fashion history with a glamorous, daring eye, featuring
pieces from christian dior, chanel, thierry mugler, azzedine alaïa, yohji yamamoto, pierre cardin, sonia rykiel and more.
lena lumelsky & françois glorieux – accompanied by the musical stylings of françois, the renowned belgian pianist, designer lena lumelsky
produced a choreographed mime act under UV lights, entrancing the audience as the heroine was slowly dressed by an army of nearinvisible
yuima nakazato ss10 – from tokyo to antwerp via paris, yuima nakazato’s ground-breaking ss2010 collection of shoes and body jewellery
was showcased alongside a silent fashion film, with a high zipped leather boot , a low zipped flat slipper, a chainmail shoulderpiece and
chainmail legging on show. the high boots won the YKK award at ITS#8, for their ingenious design that folds and unbottons from the boot
into a flat semicircle of leather. the accompanying film was of a dancer in the dark, wearing the heavy, fluid chainmail and intricate shoes,
performing a slow routine.
mvtations – brussels based performance artist jean biche performed a torturous ritual of costume and dance on the BLACK stage at ra.
from naked to fully dressed, from liberation to restriction and back, performing in his own exquisite corsetry and full body costume.
throughout the performance, videos showed past acts of his work, showing a through line of his symbolism and the strength of his personal
black exhibition, with momu – in cooperation with the black exhibition at momu, ra decorated our space with installations on the theme
‘black’ by a selection of the fashion designers in our boutique.
featuring pieces by: aitor throup / bless / bruno pieters / butterflysoulfire / hannah marshall / heaven tanudiredja / john rocha
j. smith esquire / lion blau / louise goldin / rad hourani / yuima nakazato
the black theatre – “dedicated to those who are inspired – even in the darkest places…”
a lightbox shadow puppet theatre, edited by ra printed matter & illustrated by lena lumelsky, featuring scenes and characters from 20th
century fashion history. created as a limited edition of 200 copies, handmade in belgium & sold at ra & MoMu on the occasion of the
exhibition ‘BLACK. Masters of Black in Fashion & Costume’
sugary photographs – works of anouk kruithof & fong ponto in the ra bookstore & cafeteria space.
anouk’s work “enclosed content chatting away in the colour invisibility” was an existential study of borders, depicting a 4x2m installation of
over 4000 coloured books she collected in berlin. fong ponto took a more intrusive step with “installation the bookstore”, carpeting the tiled
café floor & arranging two floating screens with his ‘video portrait’ of himself and artist kathrin klingner. fong reconfigured the space, even
causing patrons to rethink their seating choices – to enter the artwork or not!
18& – valentine’s eve with andrea cammarosano, petrus heeren, spaghetti gangbang & L.I.A in a steamy music/performance/art/party.
spaghetti gangbang broadcast over the internet from inside their pink furry phallus, mixing erotic fruit juices for their voyeuristic onlookers in
RA & across the web. andrea cammarosano offered his ‘services’ for the night, with a veritable smorgasbord of cut&paste ‘andrea aliases’
from all over the map, for paying customers to take home and enjoy. petrus heeren performed a sensual adolescent ritual in the front hut,
recreating a teenage boy’s bedroom scene exploring his own physicality in the ‘privacy’ of his own space.
‘be an idol’ – a multimedia installation of artworks by spanish artist carlos arroyo galaxia.
ra became a sacrificial space, his pieces like offerings to the deity he placed in the front window, a god with his scalloped headdress -
surrounded by gifts of fruits, flowers & slow burning candles.
canadian violinist nicholas fountaine became a god, donning a calico robe & the IDOL headdress. satellite altars accompanied – with laptop
computers showing his family at their own altars participating via skype.
‘top of the rocks’ – paris-based brothers karim and luc ‘la fratrie’ installed their miniature perspex worlds in the RA corridor. five clear boxes
held suspended islands featuring built human landscapes – perhaps with a rundown church, a sinking disco or a ferris wheel floating behind
the plastic.
painstakingly crafted by hand, each piece holds a unique significance as a contemporary existential discussion on shared experiences of
youth, the passage of time, and the juxtaposition of modern glitz with rundown, ramshackle histories.
ra exhibition fw10 in paris was the beginning of our international ventures. inviting several locally-based (but international) designers &
artists, we took over the galerie foret verte in paris’ 3rd arrondisement. each contributor highlighted the space with not only fashion
collections, but unique artistic displays to showcase their portfolios.
hide a.h. / romain brau / icaro ibanez / lena lumelsky / lliure briz / irene alvarez / daniel andresen /
elise gettliffe / narelle dore / sayaka yamamoto
material boy – australian designer mic eaton presented the european revival of his menswear line, with ‘a veritable wardrobe for the modern
nomad’. for fall winter 2010 the material boy became a renaissance man – dressed for the heaths, moors, and taverns of medieval europe.
the collection harbours a comfortable, ‘lived-in’ feel, with the pieces holding a historical sensibility as well as a modern ease. grassy knolls &
rocky outcrops were scattered through a static show in ra, as models posed in eery still-lifes.
dashenka prochazka – her artistic takeover of ra was a morbid, magical affair, as feathers grew from the floor and marshmallows flowed in
mountains. hiding in our straw hut, dashenka’s hushed lyrics floated through the space as guests explored her magic mystery boxes, and
discovered her ghost men hiding in corners, the ra forest, some with their faces alive with fantastical projections. dashenka’s bunny men
bounced in slinky suits in the blackened hut, with strobe lights sending them into a frenzy.
melting – antwerp graduate ‘09 elise gettliffe transformed a corner of ra with her contemporary street wardrobe of gangland-inspired
menswear (woven textiles mixed with heavy shirting, knitwear & denim). she also channeled her inspirations into surrealist paintings on the
walls behind the collection & has continued to add her personal touches to the ra décor with wood etchings & other murals.
un animal devra mourir – la cambre graduate giuseppe virgone showed his shredded, dissected collection of opulent menswear in a
theatrical presentation, on young boys with golden masks by guillaume airiaud & live cassette tape electronica by nemoi (berlin)

one year of ra

since october 17th 2009, ra has amassed a rich calendar of happenings in antwerp & beyond
stretching our artistic horizons through many emerging mediums.
joining forces with many interesting people & parties
we have achieved many exciting effects & results.
as a platform for events ra is continually pulsing with energy, whether it’s the daily life of the boutique & kitchen or the
special events hosted in the gallery space. day & night we are inventing & formulating new ways to use our space;
hosting art openings, collection previews, afternoon teas, stage performances & other engaging, interactive
happenings. ra has become a meeting place for young & old, a spot where people come to talk, eat, read, work, shop
& discover.
in our journey with new talent, ra has supported several designers whose collections now hang amongst the other
remarkable names in the ra boutique & in other prestigious stores worldwide. these include womenswear designer
lena lumelsky (recent winner of the MNG prize) and knitwear designer daniel andresen, who has had much success
with his collection in both ra paris exhibitions. also of note is elise gettliffe, who has continued her own label & is now
working alongside david szeto in brussels. more recently, we have introduced narelle dore & jan jan van essche’s
ranges to the store for fw10 – as the sole stockist of these local talents worldwide. we also look forward to introducing
the collection of argentinian designer paula selby avellaneda soon – one of the academy graduates for 2010 who is
carrying out exciting fabric research & bespoke creations in london.
broadening our horizons, ra has reached out to other organisations to connect people, resources & ideas. some of
our most exciting collaborations have been with the momu (fashion museum), as a satellite venue for their
exhibitions, a party destination & to create projects like the black theatre together. we have also joined forces with
antwerp vintage institution ‘labels inc.’, joining our growing vintage section with their established venue, to use ra as
an exhibition space for their most special pieces. ra has also set up our first emerging talent award with the ITS
foundation in trieste, italy. earlier this year we presented our inaugural award to the antwerp academy 3rd year
student niels peeraer – the first in a line of winners who will showcase their fashion collection in a special event at ra.
keep reading to find out more the first year of ra.
all our thanks to everyone who has been a part of it.