The latest country to stamp Opening Ceremony's passport is Belgium. The store shelves, in keeping with O.C.'s ’round-the-world retail mission, have been given over to collections by Belgians Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck, and Stephan Schneider. It wasn't necessarily inevitable that Antwerp's gray-stone eeriness would seep into the retailer's own house collection, but having traveled there often to do their buys, "we felt like it was a great starting point," said Humberto Leon.
He took care to emphasize that it was Belgium itself, rather than Belgian fashion, that inspired O.C.'s Pre-Fall range. Antwerp's historically important waterways—it continues to be one of Europe's largest ports—inspired the collection's fluid lines, the snaky seams of fencing-style shirts and pinafores. That contrasted with the sharper lines of techier pieces, such as anoraks, kangaroo-pocket jumpers, and utility vests.
If you were excavating every reference, you could find the refractions of light through diamonds in a geometric print (Antwerp is a major gemstone hub) and stirrings of techno-pop record-cover art (Technotronic, of "Pump Up the Jam," was from Belgium). But that might be a deeper dive than O.C.'s fan base cares to (or needs to) make. For every piece here that waxed overcomplicated, there was one that was just contemporary fun.