I'm sat at my laptop reminiscing/procrastinating, wishing I was back in Antwerp tbh.
A couple weeks ago, I was on a 'study trip' to Paris & Antwerp as part of my Masters. We had a packed itinerary in both beautiful cities.
After a 12 hour coach journey, we arrived in Paris, first on the agenda, FOOD! As I've mentioned in previous travel post, it seems to be a little tricky to find somewhere vegetarian friendly abroad, so I had already resided myself to the fact I was going to live on pizza, pasta and bread for the week (no complaints here!) We were relatively close to the centre of Paris so finding cute and veggie friendly restaurants was relatively easy in the end.
First day; we embarked on a Fashion Walking Tour, mostly around the designer area of Paris, even managing to visit the Chanel store, you know, the one with the famous stairs Coco herself stood on (yeah THAT ONE, gasp)! It was a really insightful tour, although by the end we were all ready for a hot drink and a croissant maybe...or two
The next excursion was by far the most inspirational of the trip. It was a visit to Lidewij Edelkoort Studios. If you're not familiar with the wonderful lady behind Trend Union; a fashion trend forecasting agency, it's well worth researching and visiting the studios. We had an insightful talk by the Creative Director of the studios, who shared the studios work as well as life story I've never been so engrossed in, it was just fascinating.
The third and final day in Paris saw us boarding the coach again to make our way to Première Vision, a fashion & textile trade show visited by buyers & fashion professionals all over the world. We were lucky enough as Masters students to be allowed access to the exhibition. It was a swift walk round to cover the vast amount of stalls and areas within the exhibition space, before we headed to Antwerp, Belgium.
We arrived late evening and again, of course, finding somewhere with food was first on the agenda! It was Valentines Day so the city was awash with couples out for a romantic date! We stumbled across somewhere that would soon become one of the groups highlight! A SPAGHETTI SOCIAL SPACE, Bavet (I mean, come on!). The website does not do this place justice. We were gutted to learn it was exclusive to Belgium, but hey all good things must come to an end. We went from here to a small bar we found down a quiet street near our hotel, where one beer turned into a night of fun and frolics until the small hours (oops, probably not the wisest decision the night before another walking tour but hey ho!)
So the morning after the night before and about 2 hours sleep, we embarked on our last excursion, a Fashion Walking Tour around the city of Antwerp, a fashion city in it's own right. Home to the Antwerp 6 (google it, well worth a look into these creatives!) The city is most definitely a fountain of fashion inspiration, from it's vintage stores to the independent stores dotted around and of course the luxury stores to set off any fashion dream to own just one piece from inside there (please?).
The final, full day we had free to do as we pleased, hurray! The first stop was the Olivier Theyskens: She Walks In Beauty exhibition at the MoMu Museum just metres away from our hotel. Again another thing to google if you're not familiar and can't make it to the exhibition with it being in Belgium and all that! It was then just a case of exploring the city even more, taking it all in before out last night, which let's just say was the best night EVER; beer, drag queens and cheesy pop songs! (what 12 hour coach journey back the next morning?!)
For those looking for a European break, I couldn't suggest Antwerp any more highly, add it to your 'go to' lists please!! It's an amazingly beautiful city and just small/big enough to be able to walk around everywhere. I'm SO tempted to go back in the summer when the weather is a little warmer!
All outfit details over on my Instagram