Saturday, 11 December 2010

Enrichment Week - Antwerp

On the 22nd of November I went with college on a trip to Antwerp in Belgium. Before we left I was a bit anxious as none of the people that I usually hang around with were going but I was looking forward to getting to know some of the other people on my course better.

I arrived at Crewe station on Monday morning, early as usual, getting ready for the long journey ahead. Many train journeys later we arrived at the hotel, it was about 6:30pm and we had the rest of the night to settle in and to have a look around the area that was local to the hotel. I found the freedom that we were given unusual compared to the restrictions that you have on high school trips but it made me feel independent and gave me chance to develop my independence at the same time.

Tuesday morning we all took a tram into the centre of Antwerp and arrived at the MoMu where we met a lovely lady who was there to give us a tour around the main fashion section. We started the tour on the ground floor of the museum where we looked around the work the degree level students from the school which was part of the museum, it was home to designers such as the Antwerp 6 which have very famously come out from there. I was absolutely blown away by the detail and skill that was put unto each and every millimetre of the garments. Here are a few examples...
Even the drawings that they produced were to an amazing standard.
We then left the museum and went around the different the different streets that were filled with interesting buildings that were all decorated beautifully. We learned that depending on which streets you go down you could expect different types of shops for example there was the high street backbone which had the normal shops that you would expect on the high street. Then there was what I think was called the 'skating and rapping' street which was where the walls were decorated with graffiti but it didn't look vandalised it looked intriguing and added character to the streets.
There was also a shop called 'Fish and Chips' which used graffiti in their window display which made the shop look really interesting
to me.
After the tour we were given the freedom to go shopping and we got told that we had to be back at the hotel for 6:00pm. At first I was a bit apprehensive about getting back to the hotel but while we were looking through the shops, areas started looking familiar and it was a lot easier to get back than I had originally thought.

Wednesday morning we took the tram back to the museum but this time we were spending the day looking around the Stephen Jones exhibition. I had already heard of him but I've never really studied his work before so I found this museum really interesting. I loved looking at the different hats under the different concepts that he had based them upon. We also got the chance to watch a video where we got a better insight into his personality and I felt like I knew him a bit better. This was one of my favourite parts of the trip and I feel that I learned a lot from it and it also helped me with my current brief as it showed me examples of different concepts that somebody who is actually in the industry used. Here are some examples of the work that we saw...

After we had finished in the museum we were able to got around Antwerp again shopping or doing anything else that we wanted. Me and Emily decided that we wanted to go back and meet Jo and Bruce at the museum as they gave us the opportunity to go and look around the beautiful 20's buildings that were in a different part of Antwerp. I really enjoyed looking at the detail on the buildings and I was surprised at how different certain parts of Antwerp were, to me it felt as though the different parts should be miles apart. Here are some examples of the buildings that we saw...
Thursday morning we had some time to do last minute shopping or anything that we needed or wanted to do before we left. Then we left the hotel doors for the last time and started the long train journey home. Many hours later we arrived back at Crewe train station about 9:30pm.

I learned a lot about myself from this trip and feel that it as very beneficial; I gained independence, knowledge and built friendships with people that I wasn't as close to before. I would recommend Antwerp to anybody looking for an interesting place to visit and I really enjoyed my time there.

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