walter van beirendonck

I’m working very spontaneously. I cannot really predict how it will evolve, it’s evolving every season.  I have a complete freedom in my mind, I have a very loyal clients who are following me and who are also expecting  this kind of adventures, collections. I feel also a lot of respect now from press and buyers that I do it in a different way because it’s really difficult today to find something original. I mean there is a kind of unification going on in fashion and a lot of fashion houses are creating the same things because that’s commercial. It’s really marketing dream even. I’m working the other way.
—  Walter van Beirendonck
My strong imagination really prevents me from being influenced. I try to view stuff from the student’s perspective as much as possible. At other schools teachers seem more dominant, like Vivienne Westwood: she makes little Westwoods all the time. With all due respect, because dominance isn’t easy to maintain, but that’s not how we do things here.
—  Walter van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck W.&L.T. spring—summer 1998.

Show: July 1997 at the espace W.&L.T. at St. Denis, Paris, France

Setting: A red square of 17 by 17 metres, surrounded by stands for the audience. Four moods and light shows (straight white, white showers, white difused and coloured starlite mirrorballs) were created for each part of the show. 

Styling: 30 Wizzkids performed a line-dance, showing a brandnew Boyswear collection, the newly developed W.&L.T. monster-sneakers and a funny ‘variation-on-cowboy hats’ by Stephen Jones. 30 Black Beauties dressed in black with accents of green, orange and pink, with Marilyn Manson-style make-up and posing with Godzilla grace. White Trash: 30 models on high stilts (50 cm) walked with alien grace across the red square. Long white silhouettes with red and pink lighting accents. Make-up: white transparent gauze masks and gloved catsuits with Swarovski rhinestones.The girls wore maxi red hair-hats by Stephen Jones, that made this 'prototype for the future’ even more perfect. Birds from Outer Space: 40 ballroom dancers, including 20 girls in dazzling evening dresses and classy hairdos, green-red masks and green rubber reptile gloves, 20 boys in black overalls with shiny numbers on their backs and rubber masks, performed techno-latino dances. They were joined by Walter and the entire backstage crew for a big party on the catwalk.

Invitation: Pink plastic shopping bag with Walter looking like a cute green dinosaur.

Walter Van Beirendonck autumn—winter 1999—00.

The name of the collection — No References — refers to the underlying idea of avoiding references to past styles of fashion and the redefinition of formal ‘fashion archetypes’. What Van Beirendonck shows us is his vision of men’s clothing for the next millennium. The collection is based on four thorougly researched 'tailoring’ schemes. The 'puzzle’ section, for example, anticipates the varying needs of a wearer from the future. The clothes consist of separate components which can be assembled in a number of different ways. This 'assemblage’ can result in a variety of styles ranging from 'formal’ or 'protective’ to 'abstract’. In the 'wrap’ section square pieces of material with inset sleeves are draped round the body and fastened with cord of safety pins. The material inevitably call up associations with protection, wamth and comfort. Circular pieces of clothing from the 'pop-up’ section only take on their wearable form after they have been taken out of their bag. Not so much a 'jack-in-the-box’, more a 'garment-in-a-bag’. 'Three-dimensional only’ clothes are to be found in the 'rib’ section. Oval-shaped metal stiffeners follow the outline of the upper body and define the shape of the garment. Even the collars are boned, so they always stand up straight. Cat suits are worn under the clothing in all four sections. In Van Beirendonck’s view the catsuit is the perfect garment for the future; it controls the body temperature, gives protection and provides a perfect background to other, more decorative garments. On the catwalk the models wear tinted glass masks as a protection against sunlight and the atmosphere. 

W.&L.T. spring—summer 1996.

Show:
July 1995 at the Lido, Paris, France

Setting: 
The famous Lido Night Club in Paris. Parts of the Lido show were included in the Fashion Show. The show started with 15 minutes of images from the CD-rom, and ended with all 120 models partying on stage. 

Image:
THE SEXY WALT KILLER: couriers of the year 2013, gliding through the obsessive race of any multiracial metropolis on their superzappy atomic bikes, at a silent but aggressive pace, their lustrous bodies revealed in all their strength, their gazes hidden behind protective screens, their heads covered in spectacularly sculptured wigs.
Their ‘Dress to kill-look’ has one universal icon: the omnipresent shark rising from the abyss with the impact of many lethally dangerous designs.
THE ASTRAL TRAVELLER: The white ethereal bodies of a bunch of transgalactic tourists from Outer Space, their shiny eyes staring in wonder, their shaved heads covered in light.
Using their Astral Travel Card, they can see this Blue Planet with a new poetic wonder full a-vision. They marvel at the love-making of ladybirds or the vital cuteness of flesh-eating different ethnic cultures, adding them up on their Souvenir T-shirts.
Phonetic writings bridge communication with the locals…
ENTER: 4D-Hi-D (read Heidi): Pretty faces behind a mask. They all send a message, but oh dear, it’s so impolite! Our lovable girl and her friends decided to show their True Nature. Even cute little Bambi and Holy Cow, she’s gone purple! This is a Bavarian Kick gone wild: a Digital Orgasm!
And what’s that spaceship, lurking from behind pure snow-capped mountain peaks? Is Heidi being followed by Aliens? Indeed! The true story can be found in every print…

Invitation: 
Small transparent plastic bag with a voice module saying: ‘Wild and Lethal Trash’ and 'Kiss the Future!’.