Tap, tap, tap went the tips of their toes, as the Antwerp Royal Ballet School ballerinas modeling Tim Van Steenbergen's collection pranced down the runway en pointean apt choice for his collection of balletic workwear.
Van Steenbergen is part of the new generation of Antwerp designers currently sweeping Paris. Coming from fashion's creative petri dish, it's to be expected that his clothes would be anything but literal; in other words, Swan Lake it was not. There were dance references aplenty: asymmetric hems cut from fluid layers, workout trousers with elastic cuffs, shrunken wrap tops, V-neck tanks with runs in them, and knitted leggings. But there were also bright green belted trenchcoats, voluminous bubble-shaped skirts gathered with rope at the hem, and dainty dresses embroidered with satin flowers and trailing ribbons.
And what on earth was that jacket with puffed wrists, embellished with great gobs of crystal and sequins, and dripping with beads? "I wanted to mix costumes that a dancer might wear onstage with her workout gear," explained the 25-year-old van Steenbergen, confiding that he spent many an evening decorating said jacket on his sofa in front of the television. The costume element also explained a great white skirt layered over thick lace petticoats, like something worn by an antique porcelain doll. Romantic, yet original; it will be interesting to see where this young designer's imagination heads next.