Menswear designer Angelo Van Mol of Ghanaian and Belgian heritage was recently awarded menswear designer of the year at the recently concluded Arise Magazine Fashion week in Lagos, Nigeria for a stunning collection which happened to also be his graduate collection from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp –ranked amongst the top 5 fashion schools in the world- known to have churned out the likes of Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee (The Antwerp Six), Martin Margiela, Veronique Branquinho, Haider Ackermann, Peter Pilotto, Bruno Pieters.
Seeing the kind of talent the elite Belgian school has produced in the past it was no surprise to see Angelo Van Mol’s intricate work which stood out from most of the collections at the event –be it men’s or women’s- for its craftsmanship and aesthetic.
His inspiration for the collection was male paintings of Polish art deco genius Tamara de Lempicka, mod culture and art deco. All of these elements quietly reverberated around the collection and you could sense its spirit or be it, vibe engaging and slowly charming you.
The shapes of the collection are inspired by classical Formal menswear mixed with free wear clothing. I want to create a man who is wearing formal clothes but at the same time it should be clothes you can wear whenever you like not only for formal events. Therefore the shapes are not defined as new shapes but are within the existing shapes of clothes we know.
The whole collection was produced and handmade by the designer himself, from embroidery to stitch on sequences, patterns, basically everything.
Fabrication included metal chains, cashmere, shaven pony skin, python skin, camel skin, and more. ‘I choose to use only the best materials because the man I want to portray lives in luxury a world.’
The colors are inspired by the city by night, there are a lot of black and white shirts referring to formal wear but also some colors. If you are familiar with the works of Tamara de Lempicka you see notice that the colors came from her paintings fused with images of city's by night and art deco art. The mix of this all creates the man Angelo Van Mol wants to portray.
The shoes in the collection were designed by Angelo and produced by Giorgio Paponi using new handmade shoemaking methods and doing the designer a big favor. The details include metal pins -inspired by the dials on Cartier watches- inserted into a space in the heel carved out by hand.
Certainly one of Africa’s talent to look forward to in the future and we can all hope that he gets better with time just like fine wine.
ANGELO VAN MOL
Lange Koepoortstraat 46
2000 Antwerpen Belgium
Mobile: + 32 484774486