Walter Van Beirendonck Men’s

It was heaven at Walter Van Beirendonck, as bears, cubs and otters—those sought-after body types on gay hook-up sites—were given major exposure at his peppy spring collection.

A stout figure himself, the bewhiskered Belgian designer has always advocated diversity, sex and fun in fashion. And at a time when an increasing number of labels are trying to build more character, his message is more relevant than ever. The idea of seeing XXL men in corsets, flaming lipstick, garter belts, frilled skirts and piles of pearl necklaces might at first sound preposterous, but after the show you thought, Why not?

Van Beirendonck’s skillful mix of eccentric accessories (check out the mask sunglasses) and sportswear (cheese-holed jackets, roomy overalls, playful T-shirts printed with the word “Hope”) demonstrated that beefy men could infuse more humor in their attire without surrendering their sex appeal. Even bondage straps were cut in the pastel checked fabrics that dominated the show. Yes, you can paint the peacock.

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