29 oct. 2009
Delvaux: House of Refinement
The last thing we did on Sunday before leaving Antwerp was visiting the Delvaux's exhibition at the MOMU. The story of this Belgian luxury goods house began in 1829 when Charles Delvaux and his wife opened their first workshop manufacturing travel goods in Brussels. The exhibition is actually an interesting and inspirational journey in Delvaux's history and creativity from the manufacture of travel goods for the local nobility and the Royal Court in the 19th century through the rise of modern handbag in the 20th.
In every history of luxury companies, you find a man with a vision that led them to another level.
Franz Schwennicke who took over Delvaux in 1933 was this man (nowadays the company is still in his family hands). He rebuilt the company around traditional values and moreover established a studio system that produced two seasonal collections of original bags which was pretty modern at this time. Designs were registered to protect against counterfeiting and details were recorded in the Livre d'Or. In the late 40's, details included the name of the designer for each bag as shown on the exhibited Timeline.
This model that I'm totally fond became a classic and part of the Delvaux's bag families which means that it is still manufactured...
As I said, the first workshop in 1929 manufactured travel goods. Along the 19th and 20th centuries, each mode of transport required specific luggage from carriage trunks to flat-topped standardised ones and of course all we need now in our modern business traveller's world.
What really interested me was the display of black and white photograps and drawings from the Studio and the room dedicated to the atelier's work and the skills of the artisans as all products are still made by hand. Nowadays, the development of each collection is still shared between the studio designers and the technical department.
Well "Belgitude" which leads to some funny creations like this homage to Magritte below with the "Ceci n'est pas un Delvaux" bag (This is not a Delvaux).
Well I highly recommend you to visit this exhibition. And you can read my fellow blogger's reviews on the Facebook Page as we all had a different vision of it. The last part of the exhibition presents various artistic designers that led the studio as well as the creative collaborations with fashion designers like Bruno Pieters or model Hannelore Knuts and of course the first three bags produced by Veronique Branquinho who was introduced in Spring 09 as the Delvaux's new artistic director. You'll see them in the following post.
Delvaux - 180 Years of Belgian Luxury
Until 21 February 2010
tel: + 32 (0)3 470 27 70