Designer Focus

Walter Van Beirendonck

Thanks to his larger-than-life appearance Walter Van Beirendonck is as unconventional as his designs. Part of the ‘Antwerp Six’ the Belgian designer continues to question society’s paradigms like gender, through his own colourful and abstract lens.


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About the designer

After launching his self-titled label in 1983, Walter Van Beirendonck received his first big break in 1987 when showing in London as part of the original ‘Antwerp Six’. Since then the fiercely bearded designer has made a name for himself as a slightly weird, avant-garde designer who does not shy away from using bold colours or statement slogans. His desire to experiment and ongoing audacity to question the current status of society continuously challenges the concepts of his designs, making each season a mesmerising show to witness.

Aside from his commercial designs for his own line, Van Beirendonck also designs for theatre, ballet and film and acts as the current head of the Antwerp Royal Academy.

Collection spring/summer 2017

The slightly manic state of today’s world made Walter Van Beirendonck turn to Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice in Wonderland. More specifically to the unsolvable riddle the Hatter poses: ‘Why is a raven like a writing desk?’ The question has been pondered upon by many great minds over the years and has become synonym to a fruitless search for answers and in this case, formed the fundamental idea behind Van Beirendonck’s SS17 collection.

The entire menswear collection, that can easily be translated into a women’s wardrobe due to its genderless feel and approach, felt slightly dark and sinister translating the collective global feeling. With strong slogans like ‘brutal beauty’, bondage-strapped harnasses and robotic-faces peeping through graphic prints spring/summer 2017 felt less optimistic than what we’ve got accustomed to in the past. Due to the incorporation of folkloric elements, bright colours and floral prints Van Beirendonck still managed to integrate his signature whimsical approach to a serious and concerning world view.