"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."
L’Etiquette, fourth year collection by Veronique Branquinho, 1995.
Veronique Branquinho: The first time I held a copy of the magazine, Mode. Dit is Belgisch, in my hands, with the supplement, BAM!, I thought it was fantastic. It touched me, it was something I understood. Until then, fashion had been light years away. Designers such as Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Jean Paul Gaultier — they were all very interesting, but utterly unreachable. Belgian fashion, on the other hand, was something I had a real feeling for. It gave me the desire to do something with fashion myself. I decided to switch to art school at Sint-Lucas, with the specific intention of preparing for the Antwerp Academy. When I finally started at the Fashion Department there, it was a real homecoming. Prior to that, I had been searching for what to do with my life. At the Academy, I immediately had the reassuring feeling that this was the only way for me.