The Belges Of The Ball-------
For a country roughly the size of Maryland, Belgium has had an outsize influence on fashion over the past two decades. Dries Van Noten, Veronique Branquinho, Ann Demeulemeester, Olivier Theyskens, and Raf Simons are among the many who hail from there and who studied at the famous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. And it appears that Belgium is the fashion gift that keeps on giving: This season, Showroom Antwerp is exporting seven emerging Belgian designers (and their collections) to New York fashion week. Anke Loh, Anna Heylen, Idriz Jossa, Lenny Leleu, Marc-Phillipe Coudeyre, Peter Ceursters, and Stephan Schneider will be taking up residence at Flanders House in midtown today; of these, Schneider is the locally familiar name, selling his clean, detail-driven menswear (pictured) at stores such Project No. 8 and Opening Ceremony. Schneider presents his collections in Paris but says that increasing interest from the U.S. media and retailers compelled him to bring his Fall ’10 wares to New York for a look-see. “This season seemed the right moment for us to join New York fashion week,” he explains.