If 2016 was the ‘year of realizing stuff’; it most certainly was also the year of firsts. For the very first time, a couture creation by the Belgian house of Natan will be included in MoMu Antwerp’s permanent collection, a gift from the house’s poised founder and royal warrant holder, Edouard Vermeulen. According to MoMu director Kaat Debo, it was high time to also archive the classic aesthetic of Natan – inspired by icons like Cristóbal Balenciaga and Pierre Balmain – in order to properly reflect the full scope of Belgian fashion. For the occasion, a black and nude lace couture dress with sequin appliqué details and crinoline underskirt was created by the Natan atelier and a documentary crew was present to capture the entire process.
For the film’s first screening, KNOTORYUS was invited for a delectable sit-down dinner in MoMu’s great hall where the documentary was shown in a temporary mini-theatre. The result, ‘Natan: The Dress’, is a unique portrait of the inner sanctum of this luxury brand. Watching Vermeulen communicate complex ideas with simple keywords that instantly set the elegant savoir-faire of chef d’atelier Charlotte Kambeya in motion is quite engrossing (and you know me: just utter the word ‘couture’ and I’m there with opera binoculars).
The documentary can be viewed until December 4th in the MoMu Gallery (free of charge), alongside a selection of Natan couture pieces.
All images by Alex Salinas
NATAN: THE DRESS
Direction and screenplay: Jacques Servaes
Camera: Toon Illegems
Montage: Els Voorspoels
Sound design & mixing: Senjan Jansen
Music: Bert Joris & Senjan Jansen