Designers An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx partnered with filmmaker Dirk Braeckman to create the evocative six-minute video that played at the beginning of their show. In it, the choreographer Lisbeth Gruwez channeled some sort of wild creature, or at least a possessed woman, writhing on the cement floor of a warehouse and struggling down a ladder, her face completely obscured by the long bangs of an enormous wig. The models wore the same hairpieces when they stepped off the tableau vivant that was exposed when the video scrim dropped. According to Vandevorst, the clothes themselves told a different story than the film, one based on the novel The Time in Between by María Dueñas, of a couturiere turned spy in 1930s Spain and Morocco.
That's a whole lot of background for a show with just 16 looks. If appearances suggested that the duo had spent too much time and energy on this season's origin story and not enough on what really matters, in the end the fashion didn't disappoint. With its dark palette, abundance of paisleys, and concentration of floor-scraping dresses and skirts, the clothes had a nice sense of drama. It was a mood aided and abetted by a pair of military jackets that featured large, slightly askew patch pockets, and fastened on the side as if they'd been pulled on in a hurry. The jackets pointed up the designers' tailoring skills, as did a wrap coat in green and navy paisley cinched by a wide leather belt. This was a vivid outing from the A.F. Vandevorst team.
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