Bernhard Willhelm has arrived as one of the most important designers of his generation, thanks in part to the sheer breadth of his creative range. In the past, he has given us everything from happy-go-lucky
80s pop chicks to naive housewives and, yes, even African dung-beetle chic.
Hundreds of tendril-like filament lights and a soundtrack by Depeche Mode set the mood for Willhelm's New Wave-influenced take on futurism circa 1983. The designer mashed together a range of pop culture references with theatrical masks and allusions to the movie "Dune" turning up on witty sweatshirt dresses. His postmodern tribe members can get away with wearing everything from Liquid Sky makeup to sweatsuits with slit peekaboo seams, wrap paillette skirts with computer-print faces, flowing desert smocks, clouds of tulle, and cartoon-like guardsmen coats.
Willhelm's accessories also stand out miles from the crowd. Witness a pair of perfectly flat fringed booties; a carry-all shaped like an animatronics bear (to be cradled like a baby); and a space-shuttle canvas tote.