KNOTORYUS AT WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK AW2017-18 (PARIS MEN’S FASHION WEEK REVIEW)


Posted on January 19th, by Dominique in art, magazine, music, style. 5 comments

WalterVanBeirendonckAW20172018

(Above image: Ronald Stoops for Walter Van Beirendonck)

Each season, when Walter Van Beirendonck sends out his coveted invitations, like clockwork, the speculation begins and we ask ourselves: What will the W do? So when a little less then a month ago, we could feast our eyes on the gorgeous AW2017-2018 Paul Boudens-designed posters, this time featuring stellar artwork by Wujic Jo with the word “ZWART” (meaning “black”) ominously emblazoned across the top, we wondered: had human kind finally done it?

walter-van-beirendonck_zwart_woojic-jo

Two Winters ago, the original and most notorious Antwerp Six member asked to “STOP TERRORISING OUR WORLD“. Last year Walter was “WOEST” (“furious”). Did the widely displayed lack of empathy in this world finally push the brightest of top tier designers over the edge? Had we finally engaged in enough horrible stuff that even Walter, our beloved everlasting beacon of future-positive thinking, thought there was no hope left? Was he going to send all his models (and therefore us) out in sombre and stern silhouettes because nothing is funny anymore?

Well, you thought!

WalterVanBeirendonckAW201718_SeidäPass

As soon as the show curtains in the Parisian Rue de Lübeck-located venue opened, the crowd gasped, Stefaan unceremoniously shrieked “Krampus!” and the first model walked out to the music of Austrian Perchten band Seidä Pass wearing a gorgeous beige tweed suit with giant gloves attached to the jacket sleeves,  I remember what I have known for more than half of my existence: “When life gives you Walter, you stay believing.”

Walter Van Beirendonck - AW1718

What came next was a slew of Walter Van Beirendonck looks fabulously styled with the help of long-time partner and fellow Antwerp Six member Dirk Van Saene, ranging from impeccably tailored pantsuits to the signature Walter overalls he loves to wear himself, next Winter they come in a camo-esque all over leaf print including a hood.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 2Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 3

I severely dislike the word wearable, but for everyone who isn’t ready yet to be gawked at by people with a lack of imagination, this might be your gateway Walter-collection. Look at these perfect buttery leather and satin bombers. Granted, they might have giant gloves attached to them, but I think that’s what makes them exciting. Why would you want to spend all that money on something boring anyway? Walter stated after the show that the macro-sized gloves symbolize the healing hands we should extend to one another, which I think is beautiful, but I also think that should that gesture not be reciprocated, they are perfect to slap rude people upside their head with. You know, whatever the moment asks for.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 4Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 5Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 6Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 7

Can we talk about accessories? If to this day, you have no actual Walter Van Beirendonck gracing your closet, consider the WVB/ZWART/DREAM THE WORLD AWAKE dad caps great starter pieces.

There are ZWART-clutches that can be worn around your biceps, people.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 8Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 9Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 10Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 11Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 12

And in the words an other show-attendee potently posted on the W’s Facebook page: “I Want Walter Pants”.

Same, Mister.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 13Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 14Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 15Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 16Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 17Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 18Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 19Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 20Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 21Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 22

On the silk scarves that were wrapped around heads in a half niqab/half “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” protest kind of way, Walter Van Beirendonck collaborated with artists Scooter LaforgeBJ BroekhuizenJohn BoothGio Black Peter and Brian Kenny.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 23Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 24Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 25Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 26

The most interesting to me -and I been gagging- were Van Beirendonck’s deconstructive plays on his own staples like the bombers and the 3/4 hooded coats. (How he has not yet designed wardrobe for a major comic book/super hero movie franchise, I will never know).

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 27Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 28Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 29Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 30Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 31Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 32

Before I leave you so I can realign all of my damn senses, let me repeat (so buyers can hear me):

Black leather bomber with gloves.

White Walter Woojic pants.

ZWART arm clutch.

WVB / ZWART / DREAM THE WORLD AWAKE Dad Caps.

Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 33Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 34Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 35Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 36Walter Van Beirendonck - Vogue Runway - AW17 37

Walter is Magic.

Thank you for having us, Sir. It’s always an honour.

(side note: I am hugely in favour of a Walter Van Beirendonck x Reebok Instapump collaboration. Who do I need to sign the rights to my new ZWART-dedicated song over to in order to make this happen? Surely going to be a hit. The lyrics go: “Reach Out and Touch/Somebody’s Hands/Or Sucker Slap a Hater/(Now) W’s the man” – DM me for more info, She’s on Instagram)

WalterVanBeirendonckAW201718_RonaldStoops_

Credits:

Walter Van Beirendonck 
‘ZWART’
Autumn/Winter collection 2017-18

Silk scarf collaboration with artists:
Scooter Laforge NY
BJ Broekhuizen London
John Booth London
Gio Black Peter NY
Brian Kenny NY

Music and performance by SEIDA PÄSS

Make-up by Inge Grognard & M-A-C PRO Team

Handknitted folk-scarves by Loret Karman
Research: Willemien Ippel (Crafts Council NL)

Handmade gloves by Thomasine Barnekow

Show Production by Mark Vandebroeck

Invitation by Paul Boudens
Artwork by Wujic Jo

Dressers: Paris American Academy

Very special mention: Dirk Van Saene
The W-Team: Eiko, Koen, Marie-Sophie, Ella, Paolo, Elysanne, Woojic, Stefan, Dorrith, Marlous, Oscar, Mathilde

www.waltervanbeirendonck.com

(runway images: Kim Weston Arnold via Vogue Runway; additional images via here)

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