Walter Van Beirendonck

“After last season’s uplifting message, I wanted to show another side of me,” said Walter Van Beirendonck backstage after his colourful fall show, cryptically titled Lost Never Sleeps. “It was about protection against the world, Tahitian voodoo, and fetishism.”

As usual with the Belgian designer, those disparate references translated into a merry affair, in this case dandified black men in bowler hats, S&M-like masks and shaman canes dangling with chains and keys. They strolled through a white gallery space wearing suits with a frontal circular insert that, on closer inspection, gave the illusion of a shorts suit. Leather was used unexpectedly, not only in the aforementioned accessories but also in gardener-style overalls and fur-tipped, elbow-length gloves. The terrific “puzzle” knitwear actually consisted of a three-piece set that seductively bared the models’ backs. Other outstanding pieces included a mohair tracksuit and sweaters attached to ears.

Van Beirendonck is hotter than ever, not least since his current must-see Antwerp retrospective features items so relevant they are impossible to date. His show today had the same youthfulness and energy.

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