The Belgian design scene is vast and diverse. Belgian institutions are always at the forefront of supporting the people, new projects and products that make our country dynamic and unique.
Belgian sober aesthetic brought to New York
The visual and tactile experiences of textile designs are the iceberg tip of how they have come to life. From the past to the present day, textiles have literally been part of the Belgian landscape.
“The strength of Belgian textiles comes from their education systems, which leads us to not only amazing fashion designers but also amazing textile designers. That extends to interiors. Everybody always asks me, ‘What is the definition of Belgian design and simplicity?’ It also comes from their openness and down-to-earthness, which the exhibit also embodies. It comes from their landscape, their industries, the mills, the linen fields — it’s all there in their history and DNA,” explained curator Philip Fimmano to WWD Magazine. “We’ve tried to illustrate there is much more to Belgian textiles than linen. There is also this creativity. We see it so easily in fashion. But I think a lot of people outside of Europe perhaps don’t know just how creative the rest of the design world is there.”
Through the textile-based works of 9 talented women, The Gift To Be Simple investigates the straightforwardness of Belgian design and how it correlates to a more sober aesthetic today: discovering excellence in everyday items. As a trend forecaster, Lidewij Edelkoort has been observing the emergence of paired-back design for several years, noting that “In chaotic and fearful times, humanity will naturally look for answers and find solace in simplicity. People are trying to make the ordinary extraordinary.” Additionally, with many people relocating to rural regions during the pandemic, a more rustic approach is also impacting interiors, fashion and lifestyle. Therefore, upholstered furniture, tapestries and household items such as dish cloths, table linens, toweling and indulgent bedding formulate a trend towards more textiles and emotional tactility within the new home.
Natalia Brilli, Emma Cogné, Alexia de Ville, Design for Resilience, Laure Kasiers, Charlotte Lancelot, Geneviève Levivier, Pascale Risbourg, Céline Vahsen.