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I wrote an Antwerp city guide for Seamwork, and thought I'd post a few extra pics here.

I have to say, I was ridiculously excited when Colette okayed the city guide — Antwerp is one of my all-time favorite cities, and as far as I can tell, it doesn't get a lot of tourists. It was so fun to go back and geek out on sewing and textile and fashion stuff!

So here's the fabric I picked up:

On the left: a knit by a Belgian designer from Julija's that's destined (I think) for a Kirsten Kimono tee. On the right: a French terrycloth from Kokette Katinka, which I'd like to use to make a knit pencil skirt. Not pictured: A pale pink knit with swallows, also purchased from KK as a present for Lisa, who catsit for us. (Thanks, Lisa!)

Julija's and Kokette Katinka had the best knit fabrics. I really wanted the robots at KK.

beep boop beepity beep

(Did I mention they also had one with cats wearing monocles? They did.)

More knits at Julija's.

in love with the arrows on the left

The blue knit fabric with bunnies (?) was designed by a Belgian cartoonist just for them. (!)
Fun oilcloth at Petit Pan Anvers:

 And here's the RTW haul. From Labels Inc., a Dries van Noten silk skirt:

This actually fills a massive void in my wardrobe — I don't have anything like it! Planning to wear it to fancy dinners or museum things, or even job interviews. It goes with a navy-blue Renfrew I made last year, but I might also try to get a navy sweater set to go with it.

(Also, file this under stuff I could never, ever, ever make in my lifetime. Those pleats. I can't even.)

Next up, a Dries van Noten top, also from Labels Inc:

I really, really, really (really) love the embroidered shoulders. Part of the fun of clothes shopping in Antwerp is that you keep finding stuff that makes you slap your forehead and go, "Oh YEAH! Never thought of that!"

Whap. Note to self: Put embroidered shoulders on something one of these days.

Finally (and the real thing is not actually pictured because it's in the wash): an Ann Demeulemeester tank top. Another forehead-slappy thing: Two layers of binding, used to create visual interest around the neckline and additional straps in the back.

I love the way the back is pieced, and the uneven straps.

I felt a little weird shopping in Ann Demeulemeester. I dress pretty casually most of the time, and I felt like such a schlub while they were waiting on me and bringing me bottled water on little silver trays and like that — although they were completely nice and friendly.

That said, it's a beautiful space and I loved spending time in it. There's even a small green courtyard (or courtyard-like space) in one of the dressing rooms. I'd post pictures, but I don't have permission, unfortunately.

Finally, things I didn't buy but drooled over. A couple of dresses in Anna Heylen's shop:

Her work is just amazing. One of these days I'd like to go back and get something made to order. (Also, Anna was there when I stopped by; she was really nice and didn't mind that I took tons of pictures.)

When I got back, I started looking around for all the Anna Heylen images I could find and came across this:

Thank you, sleeve, I now feel totally inadequate.

OK! One more outfit, in the window at the A.F. Vandevorst flagship:

Even my husband stopped and gawked, and said, "That is so cool."

So, in conclusion, Antwerp is gorgeous and weird and interesting and brain-busting (especially when it comes to clothes and textiles) and you should go. And if you don't believe me about the gorgeous part, here's Grote Markt at night:

That's all!


  1. totally amazing trip! loved all the fabric pix, and all the pix of the RTW that you bought!!

    1. Thank you!! (I only just now saw this, too -- I guess I'm not getting notified about comments. Argh!)


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