Belgian designer Wim Bruynooghe has just unveiled his first ever menswear collection and it’s a dream of flowy wools, cashmeres and silks. Wim Bruynooghe’s AW17 debut men’s collection is dubbed “Jet Boy”, and just like the 1973 New York Dolls single it pulses with 70s punk rock androgyny. The designer previously experimented with genderqueer expression in his AW16 “Queer Beauty” series and this sumptuous platform-heeled collection blurs lines just as effortlessly.
I vividly remember the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts SHOW2013 moment when the gorgeous Layna Isle Vercauteren came gliding by in a transparent rubber Wim Bruynooghe gown featuring cross-body panelling, my first encounter with the designer’s eagle eye for material and cut. His time growing up by the seaside in De Haan resulted in his signature zigzag stripe detailing, echoing the waves he spent his childhood.
After graduating from the Antwerp Fashion Department in 2013, Wim Bruynooghe has laudably gone on to build a solid young namesake brand together with his partner Laur Dillen Storms, opened a guerrilla flagship store in Antwerp, got featured on Forbes’ 2016 prestigious ’30 Under 30 Europe’ list and named creative director for new label UCWHY (founded by Anne Chapelle, CEO of former Ann Demeulemeester and Haider Ackermann parent company BVBA 32). An expansion into menswear is only further proof of the even more glistening future ahead.
While this Antwerp Fashion Department grad is well and truly launched, the next guard is waiting in the wings. The Antwerp Academy’s Open Campus Day on March 11th is the ideal moment for aspiring students to get all the intel they crave, for fashion fiends to see students at work and get lost in their designs and sketches lining the walls or to purchase the academy’s graduate magazines (perhaps there's an issue of ‘Mirror Mirror On The Wall’ co-edited by KNOTORYUS for you to snatch up). Or you can stan like me and hope to awkwardly wave at icons like Walter Van Beirendonck or Dirk Van Saene.
Open Campus Day Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp – Fashion Department
10 AM – 5 PM
Nationalestraat 28 (5th floor)
Photography: Kris De Smedt
Styling: Laur Dillen Storms
Hair/Make-up: Sabine Peeters
Model: Ingmar van der Meulen