Fashion design: DIVA Antwerp is a brilliant museum


In this month’s fashion design focus we look at a little accessory that is surely the diva of them all.

You might want to put on your sunglasses before entering this sparkling location…

An interactive journey
To visit DIVA is to journey through her house. Acting as your personal guide, DIVA’s butler will allow you a peek inside the various rooms where her most precious treasures are kept, and you’ll be able to admire them to your heart’s content because DIVA regards her visitors as privileged guests and she wants them to enjoy her wondrous world to the full.

The Wunderkammer
Your first steps inside DIVA’s house take you into her amazing Wunderkammer. In this contemporary interpretation of a chamber exhibiting a collection of curiosities, objects from every corner of the globe are brought together in a cocoon of luxury.  As you marvel at them, you’ll learn all about Antwerp’s illustrious past, for until the middle of the seventeenth century the city led the way in the production and distribution of art and luxury goods. Silverware, jewellery, precious stones and exotic curiosities like coconuts, shells and coral were highly sought-after. Each object has a story to tell, and so do its collectors.

The Atelier
In the next room you’ll learn how all these beautiful objects were made. The art of diamond-cutting and silversmithing is demonstrated in the middle of a timeless atelier. Take a seat at a workbench and select the information that interests you most.

FASHION DESIGN The International Trading Room
DIVA’s butler will then take you inside the world of international diamond trading. A multimedia globe makes it instantly clear why Antwerp was and still is the diamond centre of the world. Projected trade routes illustrate how diamonds have made their way to Antwerp for 550 years. Screens and short films provide a wealth of additional information. But don’t worry, DIVA’s butler will wait until you are ready to continue to the next room! 

The Dining Room
In the next room DIVA invites you to take a seat at her surrealist arrangement of tables, decked with costly silver services worthy of the grandest of banquets. You’ll overhear tantalizing snippets of conversation. A central spoken narrative conjures up an atmosphere of plenitude, pure decadence even. The rules of etiquette and stories about some of Antwerp’s aristocratic families shed light on the use of silver and the different lifestyles of rich and poor.

The Vault
Before entering DIVA’s boudoir, you’ll step into a strong room. Just answer a few questions and you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of information and stories. Tests, which you’ll carry out yourself, film excerpts and animated films will provide insight into diamond crime and what is being done to tackle the problem. 

Room of Wonder II: Wouters & Hendrix
Latest update: The second part of a series of Rooms of Wonder exhibitions is opening at the DIVA diamond museum on September 13th 2019. The Antwerp design duo Wouters & Hendrix takes over the baton from Axel Vervoordt as guest curators. 13 September 2019 – 16 February 2020.

The Boudoir
You leave DIVA in style… through DIVA’s jewellery boudoir where she keeps her most precious treasures. Discover the DIVA in yourself!

Together magazine Made in Belgium