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NEW YORK — In a nod to her roots, Belgian-born Diane von Furstenberg, along with the consul general of her home country, hosted the Blossom Project Wednesday to honor five young Belgian designers.

“Belgium is a tiny little country and it has so many amazing designers,” von Furstenberg said. “This is giving them exposure.”

This story first appeared in the October 20, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The one-night exhibit at the Chelsea Art Museum introduced the work of Sandrina Fasoli, Cathy Pill, Ann Torfs, Nele Feyen and Anthony Vaccarello to the New York fashion set in the form of avant-garde photos of their designs. Vaccarello missed the event because he has just been hired by Fendi — not a bad excuse.

“We are always the least interviewed and least talked-about, because we are not in a fashion capital and yet we are not exotic,” said Torfs. “This is a great opportunity to get exposure.”

As a co-sponsor of the event, urban style magazine Trace is giving the five an eight-page spread in its “Styles Ahead” issue. “For me, Belgian designers rank with the Japanese as the most creative and innovative in the world,” said Christine DeLassus, Trace’s fashion director.

The country that produced Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester and Olivier Theyskens today boasts a style that this newest generation of designers described as eclectic and experimental. For them, von Furstenberg is deified as a trailblazer. “She’s an icon to us,” Feyen said. “This is like meeting the king.”

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