Belgian family makes costumes for historic carnival

STORY: This costume maker is preparing for

one of Europe’s oldest street carnivals

Location: Binche, Belgium

The Binche carnival is a UNESCO World

Heritage Event, rooted in the Middle Ages

Fanny Kersten’s family has been making

costumes for it for five generations

(Fanny Kersten, Folk costume designer)

"This year, we are celebrating the 120th anniversary of the start of the 'Gilles de Binche' costumes production by the Kersten family. 120 years this year. So I am the fifth generation and, 120 years ago, my great-great-grandfather decided to make a Gilles hat following a bet with his friends. It mustn't have been easy for him but it worked out. Afterwards, his children took over, and generation after generation, it went on."

It can take up to 13 hours of work

for intricate pieces like this feather hat

The family makes about 300 costumes per year