Dries Van Noten: 'There's too much fashion'

Too many shows, too many collections, and, simply, too many clothes... So says Dries Van Noten, a designer who has never bowed to convention. Susannah Frankel meets Antwerp's most stylish export.

Cities of the World, By Braun and Hogenberg

This wonderful book reproduces all 363 colour plates from the Civitates Orbis Terrarum, which the Cologne-born Catholic cleric and cartographer Georg Braun edited over a period of more than 40 years in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

24-hour room service: Hotel Matelote, Antwerp

In a city as self-consciously chic and sleek as Antwerp, the term "boutique hotel" holds even more of a fervent grip on the popular imagination. Where other tourist destinations might be able to offer a certain level of boutiquerie simply with the introduction of a shearling rug or some chrome taps, a hostelry set in the heartland of fashionable minimalism has a bit more to live up to.

Kaka set for surgery

Real Madrid and Brazil forward Kaka has left the club's training camp in the United States and flown to Antwerp, where he will undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus injury.

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Antwerp: The fine art of fashion

Capital of diamonds, city of Rubens, vibrant centre of fashion: Antwerp has a dazzling variety of attractions. To shop for some of the world's most fabulous jewellery head to Appelmansstraat and Hoveniersstraat near the Central Station. Diamonds here are cheaper than in Britain – there's a good selection at the huge gem store, Diamondland, at Appelmansstraat 33.

Hugo Claus: Acclaimed author whose work was marked by intelligence and

Though often a controversial figure, the Flemish writer, director and graphic artist Hugo Claus was rarely overtly political. His sympathies were with the underdog, but he never descended to agitprop. Claus was the recipient of seven state prizes in Belgium and in 1986 was awarded the prestigious Prize for Dutch Literature. Harry Mulisch, the only other living writer in Dutch to be tipped for the Nobel Prize, called Claus "a great figure", while the poet Remco Campert described him as "the greatest writer of my generation".