On the first full day of Paris Fashion Week Men's AW18, the perennial virtuoso Walter Van Beirendonck took us to “Worlds of Sun & Moon”. Hinted at via the show invite, which brandished a blue figure in pig fetish gear painted by Belgian artist Wouter Steel, the collection's mood was explicitly hyper-sexual and dark but still wide-eyed and kaleidoscopic as only Walter Van Beirendonck knows how to balance. Whatever your proclivities, step inside.
In case there was any residual doubt, the first looks introduced the collection’s kink motif in full force gale with sex doll ring cut-outs placed just so on glossy anoraks that ran the gamut from shades of imperial violet to jade and black as well as the brightest zest of yellow and, of course, PVC piglet pink. Models shone with ersatz perspiration courtesy of trusted collaborator Inge Grognard from behind stocking masks.
Most looks were paired with Wellie boots in rubber and leather as well as fisherman’s (or the local pig farmer's) waders which must instantly set off those of the rubber daddy predilection, particularly in their pairing with elbow-length gloves as well as the kitchen variety. Trousers were loose and tailored or carefully constructed out of geometric patterns, at times evolving into full-body stockings or codpiece nylon sweatpants with easy-access side-seam buttons (those triggered particularly horrid gym class memories, but that’s just yours truly's trauma).
The tops (yes, a pun) left little to your divination skills as they proudly proclaimed one’s ‘P!G’ & ‘BOTTOM’ or ‘sub’ and ‘dom’ status – these pieces will no doubt become the queer favourites of 2018 and are most likely to befuddle those not in the know. In times like these, you just have to spell out it. If words like “One-Eyed Monster”, “Electro Cock” and “Dream Daddy” (perhaps a reference to the popular 2017 dating simulator game?) aren’t straightforward enough, there’s always pig emoji and gang bang photo prints to make sure your message doesn’t stick the landing. Kink-shaming is highly 2015.
If your eye was understandably lured to all the titillating images and words or the wondrous FAKBYFAK alien goggles, you might not have caught the brilliant cape-like shearling coats, also rendered in a luscious purple, the woolen jumpers and tabards hand-knit by Cecile Feilchenfeldt or demurely patterned suits complimented by Novesta canvas trainers in every colour as well comforting quilt long coats and wraps or gorgeous multi-colour panel scarves. It wasn’t all an after-dark special. It was a liberated, sex-positive affair that artfully teetered on the brink between the ‘debauched’ and the perfectly innocent. “Sun & Moon” may be Walter code for S&M, but just like the contrasting celestial bodies that control our universe, there are two sides to everyone. Time to really celebrate that duality.