Exclusive: Opening Ceremony Brings In A Bit Of Belgium For Fall-------
Opening Ceremony‘s world tour in style has taken it to Japan, Korea, the U.K., and Argentina. For its latest cultural tourism via fashion import, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim turned their attention to Belgium. For fall 2013, Opening Ceremony welcomes a new crop of Belgium-based designers to its ranks, many for the first time.
The timing is good. Fashion is in the grips of Belgo-mania, it seems. (I don’t say that just because I’ve contrived to make two trips to Antwerp in the past year.) Raf Simons may be going from strength to strength at Dior, but he’s helming the French-est of French lines from his native Antwerp. His namesake men’s collection will soon be on O.C.’s shelves. (He also sat down with Leon for a long interview coming soon to the store’s blog.) Dries Van Noten, one of the original members of the Belgian craze’s first wave in the eighties as part of the Antwerp Six, will be honored with a retrospective at Paris’ Musée Galliera this spring; before then, his men’s and women’s collections will come to O.C. for fall. Belgian cult favorite Veronique Branquinho returned from semi-retirement last season. Her work will be on offer, too. So will that of Belgium’s established lions, many of them underappreciated and understocked in the U.S. (Walter Van Beirendonck, Stephan Schneider), and of many of its up-and-coming guard (Woolmark winner Christian Wijnants, knit line Chauncey, former Cacharel designer Cédric Charlier). Leon and Lim even selected their favorites of the graduating class of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
“It has been especially exciting to put together this yearly focus, because we have the icons and the new masters of Belgium fashion as well as the fresh, young talents all in store,” they said.