6 posts tagged "Walter Van Beirendonck"
The Spring ’15 menswear collections are under way in Milan, and will be followed by the shows in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Spring ’15 previews is available here.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25
WHAT: “Cargo cult. Wuvulu Island. Superb bird of paradise. Guns and Warfare. Blood-red beach. Dazzle camouflage. Lost paradise. Fuzzy wuzzy. CCTV in operation. Wham bam!”—Walter Van Beirendonck. The designer sent us his Spring ’15 inspiration images, above.
The official Haute Couture calendar published by the Chambre Syndicale had listed two Dior shows: one for press and a second for clients. But at 6 p.m. on Monday, a third show took place to accommodate a particularly special group of attendees.
Over the weekend, nearly eighty students from sixteen of the leading fashion schools around the world arrived in Paris for an immersive Dior experience. They visited the maison’s ateliers on Avenue Montaigne, participated in a conference with designers from across LVMH, and attended the Spring 2014 runway show.
“It’s good to see this world from the inside,” said 23-year-old Flora Miranda Seierl, who is in her final year at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. “Today we heard from people who went to our schools who actually work at LVMH. You never think of it like this, but it’s real people doing real jobs. And so you realize that it’s not unreachable.”
Following the show, held on the grounds of the Musée Rodin, the group went somewhere usually reserved for VIPs: backstage.
“It’s like waiting for Madonna,” gushed Central Saint Martins fashion knitwear student Matty Bovan, as Dior creative director Raf Simons posed for photos and signed program notes.
“For me, in my position at this moment, it’s wonderful to connect with students and the atelier people who don’t get to see the show,” said the designer moments later.
Simons noted that an experience like this affords students some perspective—namely, to place personal goals ahead of commercial ones. “You shouldn’t think about the system, but just what you really, really believe in. And then in the beginning, you reach out to other people who believe in it, rather than those who are in control,” he said.
Designer Walter Van Beirendonck, who showed his men’s collection in Paris last week and still teaches at Antwerp’s Royal Academy, said the access was invaluable to his students. “It’s a place that you don’t usually enter, and for students to see that and learn about this story and how it all works, it’s very amazing.”
The Antwerp connection was not by coincidence. Back when he was studying industrial design, Simons applied for an internship with Van Beirendonck, who accepted the graduate despite his lack of fashion experience.
But savoir faire is savoir faire, no matter the medium. Just ask Jo Miller, who is studying to be a milliner at the London’s Royal College of Art. “This will completely change how I feel about my own designs. It’s a completely different world and could only enrich my work.”
Or, as her teacher, hat designer Flora McLean, put it, “My students need to learn very specific technologies for how to make shoes and hats and handbags. I think there was more for them than anybody else because it’s both the technology and the dreamy parts.”
That dream, which ends today, extended beyond European institutions: Parsons The New School for Design and Pratt Institute in New York, as well as China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College, were among the invited schools.
When the idea was suggested to Simons that there should be a check-in five years later to see where the students landed, he smiled. “They will probably kick me out,” mused the designer. “But that’s how it should be. That’s the cycle.”
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.
Equal parts raconteur, rabble-rouser, and researcher, Antwerp Six designer Walter Van Beirendonck is no stranger to the power of the modern mash-up. From kink to Kawaii and everything in between, his collections are vacuum-packed with referential points well beyond the vocabulary of typical menswear. Van Beirendonck is interested in a very specific sort of commentary, which can best be described as a blend-up of global auspices with bizarro academia. It should come as no surprise, then, that he was very interested when he received a call from Texas concerning a possible showcase. “Dallas is really very weird…” Van Beirendonck told Style.com. “But there’s so much culture, so many museums, so much going on—I was not expecting this.”
Tomorrow, Van Beirendonck will unveil an eponymous exhibition at the Dallas Contemporary museum, coinciding with the city’s inaugural Arts Week. Spotlighting his Fall 2012 and Spring 2013 collections, the show will illustrate the designer’s fascination with privacy and what isn’t always apparent on-screen. “It’s very difficult to keep a secret anymore,” said Van Beirendonck. “Everything is traveling immediately, all over the world.” Inherent in his lineups are themes of secret society dress codes, image copyright violations, reverse race misappropriation (black models in whiteface), Papua New Guinean voodooism, and more. “I decided to show all of these ideas in a really pure way—with original styling and the actual accessories from the runway,” added the designer.
Once Dallas is wrapped, it’s back to Belgium for the designer. On top of producing his label, Van Beirendonck teaches at Antwerp’s Royal Academy, where he is curating the school’s 350-year retrospective, which is set to open on September 7.
Walter Van Beirendonck will be on view at the Dallas Contemporary museum from April 12 through August 19.
Next February, ARRRGH! Monstres de Mode, an exhibition presented by Greek collective Atopos CVC that highlights designers who distort and mask the human form with their fantastically frightening, sometimes grotesque garments, will land in Paris. Having debuted in Athens last year, the Vassilis Zidianakis-curated show is an extension of the book, Not a Toy, Fashioning Radical Characters, and highlights such shocking shape-shifters as Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, Charlie Le Mindu, and Walter van Beirendonck, as well as lesser-known young talents like Alex Mattsson and Leutton Postle. Emerging British menswear designer, Craig Green—who’s set to show his second collection in London next month with the MAN initiative—was tapped to create the identity of the exhibition. Green brought Atopos’ definition of monsters—described as “everything strange”—to life with four green and yellow figures that vaguely recall Pac-Man. “I wanted to make something that resembled a lo-fi graphic,” explained Green. The designer, who’s begun to make a name for himself with his art-meets-fashion concoctions, crafted his curious critters from wooden frames and stretched canvas. “They’re meant to be a family,” says Green. “So they fit together like male and female forms; they’re couples in love,” he explains.
Twenty-six-year-old Green, a Central Saint Martins graduate, has pieces from his 2012 M.A. collection, as well as a sculptural garment from his upcoming Fall 2013 collection, in the show. “I feel very fortunate to be featured alongside these mega designers, as well as small ones that I greatly respect.”
ARRRGH! Monstres de Monde opens on February 13 at La Gaîté Lyrique, located at 3bis, Rue Papin in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement.