In fall 2011, I was the privileged recipient of an Otis Faculty Development Grant in support of attending The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Annual Fashion Show, in Antwerp. The Grant was given in an effort to study the school’s educational system and the current student work showcased in their annual Fashion Show, on June 7th, 2012. The Royal Academy will be celebrating its 50th birthday in 2013.
During my journey, it became clear that these young Belgian designers were directly inspired by their environment. Their creative concepts are resolute reflections of the vast cultural and artistic resources that surround them. Inspiration can be found in their architecture, in the beauty of their natural world, their eclectic culture, the array of eminent avant-garde designers, the plethora of world-class museums and artwork that can be found around every corner. The MOMU, or Mode Museum, which houses the Fashion Department of The Royal Academy, provides the students daily exposure to some of the most exquisite authentic and historical costumes from all around the world. As a result, students are blessed with a perpetual abundance of material that nurtures their creativity.
I look forward to sharing my experience in the form of a PowerPoint presentation with Otis fashion design students as well as fellow faculty members in the fashion department. Students will benefit greatly from examining The Royal Academy’s creative process. They will have an opportunity to bear comparison between two schooling systems, which will provide them greater insight into this creative field.
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