• Love this concertina beach scene print on @marios_official tote available at @therefineryhk now! #PMQIS
  • Congrats to my cousin @elizabethlauldn and her new shop @therefineryhk in the new PMQ building @PMQHKDesign #PMQIS much love for @BernstockSpeirs bunny ears!
  • Love that I always see the best pieces by Brit designers abroad @nicoll_studio @liger_hk
  • Swash land at @liger_hk Patterson St store #SwashLondon
  • Patchwork chair by Brut Cake at @littlethingmag shop in OCT Loft Shenzhen

I'm cheerleading chanting because a) I'm back in London (at least for a while…) and b) despite the manic timetable of the weekend, it ended on a roaring RA note in Antwerp.  Dan Thawley of Dan the Scout contacted me to alert me to the store/project/creative outlet that is RA13 so off to Kloosterstraat I went to discover RA 13 in its unfinished form, complete with builders, sawdust and plastic-wrapped clothes.  Despite all of that though, I got that egg-cited feeling and my head has been planted with seedlings of enthusiasm for RA13.

IMG_4654

Two recent Royal Academy of Antwerp grads Romain Brau and Anna Kushnerova came together at a party and night-dreamed up this store that has gotten more ambitious by the day.  RA13 will officially open next week so I'm of course gutted I won't be there to check it out in person but this sneak preview has set in motion the need for another Antwerp-bound trip.  Firstly, let's just get the label selection over and out there as it's a vast one…

DSC_0268

ra 1st floor | Gareth Pugh | Giles | Louise Goldin | Ann Sofie Back | Charles Anastase | Hannah Marshall | David Szeto | Damir Doma | John Rocha | Juun J | Commuun | Frank Leder | Richard Nicholl | Wilfried Mayer | Ute Ploier | Mikio Sakabe | Akira Naka | Tillman Lauterbach

ra 2nd floorhenrik vibskov | stine goya | fabrics interseason | material boy | makin jan ma | julia&ben | cosmic wonder | bless | b-store | chloë sevigny for opening ceremony | peter jensen | kitsune | arne & carlos | ek thongprasert | facetasm

ra accessoriesuncommon matters | jordan askill | maria francesca pepe | fleet ilya | sayaka yamamoto | heaven tanudiredja | stephen jones | j.smith esquire | yannick de witte | six scents

ra collaborating designers katie eary | trushar | helena lumelsky | giuseppe virgone

DSC_0269

… it's not just that the range of labels are vast but that there's a very global emphasis when it could so easily have been Antwerp-centric.  Having had a peek through the racks, the guys at RA have bought a mixture of commercial/wearable/buyable pieces as well as more daring pieces which is a feat considering the number of labels coming into the store.  I only snapped a few but you get the idea I think with the list above.

Hannah Marshall // Charles Anastase

IMG_4658 IMG_4665

Richard Nicoll – still vastly in love with his A/W 09 collection…

IMG_4666 IMG_4667

Gareth Pugh – not that his pieces need captioning…

IMG_4659 IMG_4661

Even in its unfinished state, I could also get a feel for what the 800 sq metre space will look like what with its emphasis on natural materials and surreal portions.  I'm sure I'll need to update this post once it's finished but I saw outdoor spaces integrated with the store, reconstituted foam strip changing rooms, a thatched cottage that houses the tills, talk of an astroturf hill running inside the store and chickens running around in the hut that forms the entrance to the store.  The space is also going to be home to a music area, a bookstore, exhibition area, food area as well as a designer vintage section.  So RA has got 'concept store' DNA running through it all and whilst, yes none of these elements are particularly new to a store but I think it's the combination of the design aesthetic, the selection of designers, its location on the charming Kloosterstraat (no playing 'hard to get' here like some stores like to do) and also Brau and Kushnerova's enthusiasm for supporting young, creative talent that will drive even more fashion affectionados to Antwerp if they haven't been already.

IMG_4673 IMG_4648 

DSC_0266

IMG_4662 IMG_4649

IMG_4651

DSC_0263

Comments (17)

  1. To be frank, I’ve recently fallen in love with your blog.
    I think that you have a refreshing adoration and take on the fashion industry. Mostly I love your style because it is 100% unique and fun – which is what fashion is all about! Your blog is seriously the epitome of what fashion SHOULD BE. so props :)
    I hope I don’t sound like an obsessive creep :)
    And, I would love if you ever had a chance to visit my blog @
    girlwiththebowtie.blogspot.com

  2. klee says:

    wow, it sounds great!
    love-decoded.blogspot.com

  3. Looks like its gonna be a really interesting store:)!!
    http://thestylestrutter.blogspot.com
    xxx

  4. KD says:

    It sounds like a retail experience like no other!

  5. Gon says:

    Love the patchwork top ! It’s fabulous ;)
    kiss,
    http://www.dimogonda.blogspot.com

  6. me says:

    so erm…who did they convince to invest in that!!! One serious undertaking! Not always wise to be so big, so soon…just ask http://www.strangefruitberlin.com/ The roster is mouth-watering though, another Damir & Juun J stockist is always a great thing. They should place the less intimidating labels on the ground floor, otherwise they could well be susceptible to scaring prospective clientele away!

  7. Miss Glitzy says:

    The list of labels is really amazing and that’s it, another trip in Antwerp is necessary!

  8. nickie frye says:

    Love that geometric catsuit! It would look fabulous with the high-waisted vintage leather shorts in my shop right now. Crucial! http://www.nickiefrye.etsy.com

  9. miss a. says:

    The space looks like it has some amazing potential. Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  10. coco says:

    can’t wait for saturday!! opening paaaaarty waaaaaah! it’s gonna be HUGE!!!

  11. Vicki says:

    really interesting post! you get to go to the most interesting places and get invited to the most amazing fashion events/projects.. I envy you so much!!
    magpie-girl.blogspot.com xx

  12. just4fun says:

    Great to see there is sooo much talent out there..some still to discover. Like these:
    http://just4funnews.blogspot.com
    Online Store: http://just4fun.bigcartel.com/

  13. Looks really exciting. Must be so wonderful to be a part of something new like that.
    I just wanted to say that I really love your blog. I’ve been reading for sometime now but not yet commented. I saw that your blog made top 20 in the Sunday Telegraph and I think it’s wonderful so congratulations. Blogging here isn’t as big as the US but I’ve been doing it for about six months now and found quite a few other Brit bloggers which is always so exciting.
    Hope your job is going well and I look forward to reading more
    Polly x

  14. It looks so good and they have the most amazing selection of brands! If I have the time I might go back to Antwerp on saturday and visit the opening night!
    Great pics too :)
    x! yara

  15. Becca says:

    what an amazing assortment of brands – seriously amazing.

Comment below