By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: Iím going to be in Cologne Germany in February. Iím a fashion student and wanted to do some side trips. My auntís friend thinks it might be good to visit Antwerp and maybe another city in Germany. I donít have a lot of time as Iíll be there for a week.

A: Next door to Cologne, Dusseldorf is considered the ďfashion cityĒ of Germany. An international trade fair for womensí wear and accessories, the Igedo Fashion Fair Dusseldorf will be kicking off this year on February 1, 2009 at the Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre. Last year nearly two thousand fashion delegates from 45 countries congregated at the Messe Dusseldorf for the three day extravaganza. While for trade visitors only, the city will be buzzing in fashion.

Be sure to walk the famous Konigsallee ďKoĒ for boutiques. Pop by the funky modern art museum Kunst Im Tunnelís Cafť Kurtiz in the KIT for some trendy eating. And be sure to drop by the fashion incubator center around the warped and crooked buildings designed by Frank Gehry. A city hallmark, these buildings called Neuer Zollhof are noted for its array of fashion, media and advertising agencies. You might rub shoulders with the next big name perhaps even spot Claudia Schiffer. Dusseldorf is home to the supermodel.

Expect Antwerp to be busy for fashion seekers. About 3.5 hours by train from Cologne, Antwerp is considered the heart of Europe for its easy accessibility. Once there, hit the Fashion Museum (MoMu) ( in the hub of the fashion district. Top international designers and the Antwerp Six, a group of avante garde designers, will be found at the Steenhouwersvest, the Kammenstraat and the Lombardenvest.

Be sure to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art ( for contemporary visual art starting from the 70s, Rubenís house for a peak into renowned painter Peter Paul Rubenís world and the Diamond Museum ( They are after all, every girlís best friend.


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