"In the backyard of the [Royal Academy of Fine Arts] school was this little building, on the verge of collapsing. You would have to very carefully go over the stairs, because if you took one mis-step, you could literally push your feet through them. It was almost dangerous. So I think that the whole thing melted well together. It was the switch from the 80s to 90s, the reaction on excess with minimalism and deconstruction, the first appearance of grunge. So that feeling of romanticism, together with the history, the building and the run down corridors with the statues, it really did make a big impact on how you formed your visual language. I really think there was something quite dark and magical about it, matching perfectly the zeitgeist of the period."
The first four covers of BAM!(Belgian Avant-Garde Fashion), graphics and layout by Anne Kurris and Paul Boudens, 1988—1990
Although BAM!(1988) was a conceptual statement that symbolised the power of these new fashion forces, the name was turned into an acronym for ‘Belgische Avant-garde Mode’. The vision of BAM! was to bring innovative quality and style, and even ‘to be a crowbar, operating with style’. The themes in BAM! are characteristic of the style vocabulary of the Six: fetishwear and S&M, youth subcultures (new beat, acid), ethnic and oriental inspirations, androgyny, pin-up girls, body-builders and an obsession with bad taste. The magazine mixed fashion with other cultural fields — photography (Robert Mapplethorpe), theatre (Jan Fabre), artists (Jan Hoet) — in a postmodern blend, referencing Jacques Derrida. BAM! Is laid out like the avant-garde magazines of the time and has a very strong graphical language developed by Anne Kurris, assisted by paul Boudens. It is clearly internationally oriented.