Mortsel is a relatively small city I call my home. Geographically speaking it’s more of a suburban area of what Antwerp residents call their metropolis. Nevertheless, our little suburb has a lot to offer. We’ve got lots of green areas that stretch out like a relaxing oasis during the summer months. Speaking of which, the summer bar is soon to open again, offering refreshing drinks during those hot summer nights.
But Mortsel is more than just a patch of green where you can stock up on cocktails. Just like me, a lot of great little businesses call it home. If you happen to pass by, make sure to grab lunch at Pastis or have a coffee at Kawa (which is conveniently located in the old station building). Don’t get stressed out by the traffic meandering through the avenues, it comes with the perks of being a suburb. Instead, take your time to have a look behind the storefronts, because there’s a lot of beauty to be discovered in the local shops.
That’s partly what I’m trying to prove through this editorial actually and the city administration offered me a way to do so. For over a year, one of the smaller shopping streets was undergoing renovations. Rather than just reopening the street, the local government organised a fashion show together with the local merchants to celebrate the new cosy look and feel of said street. I couldn’t wish for a better opportunity to showcase what’s going on on the store shelves in Mortsel! Here are my favorites.
Street style is the new casual and there is no denying it. That’s basically what César Menswear proved us on the catwalk. Catchy prints, well-balanced color accents and mostly a perfect mix between stylish and comfortable are probably the best words to describe what was going on during their performance. Remember when I told earlier that there’s a lot of beautiful things going on behind the storefronts? Well, this is a great example. César Menswear didn’t just commit to selecting the best streetwear, but they also integrated this into the overall concept of their store. When you walk in there, you don’t just walk into a clothing store, you actually walk into a place that feels familiar, has the look and feel of your local bar. hat more an a man ask for?
Outfit 1: blue blazer: selected | shirt & shorts: minimum | belt: Vano | sneakers: Woden
Outfit 2: cardigan & t-shirt: Anerkjendt | chinos: Drykorn | sneakers: Woden | hat: Barts
Fashion is more than just clothing. Bobby Sewing nailed their presence during Mortsel Showt. Not only did they create the clothes on display, but they also showcased the fabrics they used during the show. Take for instance that beautiful summery knee skirt. I just love it! The fabric was inspired on the works of Frida Kahlo. It doesn’t look like a pattern at all, yet it still looks nice and clean. What an eye-catcher! That goes for the shirt as well. Featuring a nice shade of orange and a print that’s base don Charley Harper’s work (thank you birch fabrics), it’s stylish yet playful.
Hunkemöller & De Kousenboetiek
And then there were two performances that caught everyone’s attention and will stick to the collective mind of those present. Both the local Hunkemöller crew and the store owner of De Kousenboetiek decided to a blaze of fire to a sunny day. And how! Both performances were a tribute to self-confidence with a fashionable sexy twist. Not your average lingerie show. And just as those men and women were baffling the crowd, the unexpected happened. The store owner of De Kousenboetiek, despite her age, jumped on stage wearing nothing but a flowery set and her bravery. Nothing but respect and a well-deserved round of applause!
Just like Bobby Sewing, Bojet proved that fashion reaches beyond trousers and skirts. Being a lifestyle store, they focus on fashionable interior items, but also nice wearable accessories. Both models were outfitted with Belgian hand bags by Awardt, Belgian collars by Lilirooz and bracelets by Xavier Derome. Less is more – that’s how we like it.
Closing my top 5 list comes Duden. They took on the challenge of going for two completely distinct looks. yet when you compare both, you may be able to perceive a red line connecting both. One the one hand there’s playful chique, while on the other hand we have sharp and professional. Yet they’re both related through a smart use of colours and patterns. I’m definitely inspired.
Mortsel Showt is obviously out of league when you compare it to the London Fashion Week, yet there’s no denying that the local merchants put in a lot of effort to make this show a succes on many levels. On the downside, this makes it rather hard to dilute clear favourites out of a heap of great displays. This is the kind of initiatives that brings people together. I sure hope this sparks the minds of entrepreneurs alike.
Even though I didn’t get an opportunity to mention them more into detail, I would liek to send out a special thanks to all the other merchants that participated in the show: Bis Outlet, Optiek Verhelst, Formen Mortsel, Mayerline Mortsel, Marga Lederwaren, Optiek Vanbaeden, Alias, Bel, Lederwaren Jama, Opti-mine, Twice as Nice Mortsel, Edith of Oxford Mortsel, Vollebergh, Drexeler, Metal, Feria, Lolaliza Mortsel.