Monday, July 2, 2012

BEAUTY: Clothing--Walter Van Beirendonck

More than any other designer, Walter Van Beirendonck brings a fabulous, in-your-face, sometimes puzzling, sometimes annoying "art school" sensibility to his collections. I believe that the designers I like are artists and the fashion I write about here is art. But it really feels as if Van Beirendonck is in an art-school studio with clay, paint, and a huge store room of fabric and bits and bobs and what he comes up with is the result of some wild, art-class experiment.

Van Beirendonck is fond of presenting dark inspirations or images in a candy-colored kaleidoscope and his Spring Summer '13 collection at Paris Fashion Week titled "Silent Secrets," seemed to be about masochistic desires that lurk under what is perceived as a traditional, proper veneer of "society." Men in top hats and Elizabethan ruffled collars (a mash-up of "stand-up" style), hand-crafted by sculptor Folkert de Jong, paraded down the runway without their trousers, trussed up in rope bondage harnesses. The harness motif was even incorporated into a jumpsuit!

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