Hasselt and its Museum of Fashion

Hasselt, a charming city situated in Flemish Belgium, and its museum of fashion are well worth the trip.
At 11 de la Gasthuisstraat (“Hospital Street”), the ModeMuseum Hasselt (MMH) has been housed since 1989 in a former convent of the Grey Nuns, built during the second half of the seventieth century. In 1995, the historical building underwent a facelift.
The museum means to be a window into the social and cultural history of the region (Hasselt is also known as “the city of cloth”), as well as a source of inspiration for those who are involved in the field of fashion today and in the future. As such, its collection of garments consists of both historical pieces and pieces signed by contemporary designers.
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The initial basis for MMH rests on the body of work of Andreï Ivaneanu (1936-1989). The costume and set designer from Romania, having lived in Antwerp, was in love with this project of the first Belgian museum dedicated to fashion (the MoMu in Antwerp did not open until 2002). Since the creation of the museum in 1987, the collection has expanded thanks to an active acquisitions policy (both purchases and donations) and today has attained some 17,000 objects, garments, shoes and other accessories. Several exceptional historical pieces dating from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries have joined the museum’s collection. The elements from the twenty and twenty-first century vary between haute couture, ceremonial garb and ready-to-wear.
04_MMH_inv 2004.0002_robe_1833-1840_photo Fgielen
The strategy of the museum in terms of contemporary fashion is to put an emphasis on Limburg designers of international renown, such as Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and Dirk Bikkembergs. At the same time, they do not miss out on the chance to feature local designers such as Jeurissen and Moray or those more discreet such as Sofie Claes, Marjolijn Van den Heuvel or Ti+Hann.
01_MMH_inv_2011.0006_Motwary Mastori_2010_photoThanassis Krikis
MMH, animated by ever-changing exhibits, has built itself a good reputation, to be revisited through their catalogs: “Prints!”, “Superbodies” or “Invitation to dance.”
From March to September 2014, ModeMuseum Hasselt celebrates their 25th anniversary with “Collection # 02 (5)”.