Note: Belgium’s National Day bumped the Elie Saab and the Luxembourg Weddings Designer Diary, but we’ll get to it next week, I promise!
You knew we’d get to this design house at some point, right? What better time than Belgium’s National Day, when we have ample examples of NATAN?
The current creative force behind the NATAN design house is Édouard Vermeulen. He was born in Ypres, Belgium in 1957 and obtained his qualifications as an interior designer from Saint-Luc college in Brussels. His road to fashion design began with this: his first interior designs were displayed in the same building where Maison de Couture Paul Natan was located.
Paul Natan had run a couture design house since 1930. He built up a clientele of well-heeled and well-connected Belgian women before he shuttered his shop in 1983. Vermeulen, who had a growing interest in fashion design, took over the store and began to enact his couture vision under the NATAN nameplate.
Through the years Mr. Vermeulen has provided clothes for many members of the Belgian royal family. Indeed, no matter our opinion on his designs, they must be happy with his service. They turn to NATAN to design clothes for them for many of the high-profile events. In 2000, Vermeulen was appointed ‘Certified Purveyor to the Royal Household’ and in 2003, ‘Officer of the Order of Leopold II’ in 2003. In 2017, he was and was given the title of ‘Baron’. He is embedded in the family tradition and is often seen socially with them, as well.
Queen Paola was one of the first Belgian royals to wear Vermeulen designs. In 2004, she wore a bespoke NATAN to the wedding of Crown Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson. The blue gown did contain some bold NATAN features, most notably the stand-up ruffle around the neckline of the jacket.
The Queen also chose NATAN for the abdication of her husband, King Albert II, and the inauguration Of King Philippe in July 2013. The ensemble featured another stand-up collar and was done up in signature bold NATAN colors.
Most notably, then Mathilde Marie Christine Ghislaine d’Udekem d’Acoz chose NATAN to design the dress for her 1999 wedding to Crown Prince Philippe. The gown was one of NATAN’s notable successes, and truly put him on the map as a royal designer. The photo below shows some of the details that made the ensemble unique: the trademark stand-up collar, the buttons, and the coat-over-gown.
Like her mother-in-law, Queen Mathilde chose NATAN for the inauguration of King Philippe. The white empire sheath had a typical NATAN, and was particularly flattering to the new Queen.
This brings us to yesterday, Belgium’s National Day celebrations. For the Te Deum Mathilde wore a silk muslin NATAN with a flowing cape and matching mask.
Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant
For the Te Deum service, the Duchess wore a NATAN dress as well. The color is bold, which her coloring can certainly support. The word is that she borrowed the earrings from mama. The princess also marched in the military parade, to the obvious pride of her parents.
If you are interested in more coverage on the National Day and related events, ModekoninginMathilde has you covered. We are only covering the Belgian royals in this post. We’ll get to NATAN and the House of Orange in a separate post because it certainly calls for one. In the meantime, spam away all the Belgian Natan you desire in the comments!