Lieve Van Gorp spring—summer 1997.
In 1987 Van Gorp left the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp with a degree in Fashion Design. After various jobs as a stylist for Belgian high street labels, in 1991 she launched her first collection of leather accessories, consisting of belts and bags. Only in March 1995 did she expand into a complete women’s prêt-à-porter collection. Soon after she opened her own shop in Antwerp and, in January 1997, launched a collection for men. During these busy years of development, she also took on a teaching post at her old school.
Lieve Van Gorp’s collections blend icons of Catholicism with rock star cult. This mixture is carefully expressed in the ‘merchandising’, which always accompanies her collections. Posters, pins with skulls, the letter ‘L’, exemplify her universe. True to her statement “In my dreams I’m a rock star, but unfortunatly I can’t sing”, Lieve Van Gorp mentions as sources of inspiration rock ‘n’ roll and country & western music, headstrong women like Madonna, Courtney Love, K.D. Lang, Patsy Cline, Skunk Anansie and Patricia Hearst, and men like Jesus Christ, Che Guevara, Willy De Ville and Elvis Presley.
Working with diversity within one creation is Lieve Van Gorp’s strength. Emotion and agression, softness and bondage, films versus real life, male and female and everything in-between, conservatism and avant-garde, tradition and innovation, leather, love and trust, Gothic rock and classicism…, all these are parts of the Lieve Van Gorp puzzle.