Dear iDEALS, Hasselt Museum of Fashion has just become the proud owner of over 100 items from the personal archive of Raf Simons. It comprises 34 complete outfits that together give us a perfect overview of Raf Simons’ work from 1995 to 2009.
“I was engaged on arranging this acquisition the best part of a year,” says Kenneth Ramaekers, Director of Hasselt Fashion Museum.
“Long before there was even talk of the transfer of Raf to Dior. Acquisition was delayed a couple of times by the pressures of Raf’s diary, but eventually he managed to find time to make a personal selection for us. It includes a number of quite unique items that he was unsure about parting with: two outfits from his very first collection (FIRST COLLECTION), the David Bowie T-shirt look (SS96), also the first and only ladies’ outfit he brought out under his own label (SS97). With this survey, which includes at least one outfit per season from 1996 to spring 2009, we now have one of the world’s most important Raf Simons collections. Once it is realised there was an offer from Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and we had to fend off interest from Japan in order to ensure the collection would come to us, you will appreciate just how sought-after the selection is. Raf considered it most important that the collection should be in safe hands in Limburg. Needless to say, we can only be grateful for this.”
“This acquisition is a positive confirmation of Hasselt Fashion Museum’s profile and ambitions, and is all of a piece with the style that has made the museum so popular in recent years,” says alderman Karolien Mondelaers.
“By taking the opportunity to bring this collection under one roof, the Fashion Museum has put itself on the map; it acquired a distinctive image of its own that has won over the fashion trade and broader public alike. It confirms our conviction that there is a great deal of creative talent in our region, and that Hasselt is making its mark in many different domains as a city of fashion."
The acquisition fits in neatly with Hasselt Fashion Museum’s collection profile, since one of our main sub-collections comprises items by designers with roots in Limburg.
“Against this background, in 2011 we managed to pick up 15 major items by Martin Margiela,” explains Ramaekers.
“I think it’s tremendously important for the future of this museum that our core collection should include plenty of products by Limburg designers, so I’d like to make an appeal to anyone who has outfits by Bikkembergs, Kyuso, Les Hommes (Bart Vandebosch), Marjolijn Van Den Heuvel, Ti+Hann, Sofie Claes, etc, lying around. A large proportion of these designers’ collections is without any doubt shut away in Limburg’s wardrobes. Donations by private individuals have left an indelible impression on the appearance of the museum’s core collection. Donations help fill some of the gaps left by the official purchasing policy. And yet all too often we hear that people have given away or, worse still, thrown away, items that could form valuable additions to our collection. So we’d like to appeal to anyone, and to Limburgers in particular, to donate items to the Fashion Museum.”