Harper's Bazaar (Singapore)
WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK
Part of the Antwerp Six who gained prominence in the mid-Eighties, Van Beirendonck—with his cartoons-meet-couture aesthetic—has been one of the most impactful outsider voices in fashion. His might not be a household name but his legacy burns bright in the designers who came after him—whether it’s the ones he taught (at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp) such as Raf Simons and Craig Green; or the ones he inspired, like Charles Jeffrey and Virgil Abloh. Much of what is trending today can be traced back to Van Beirendonck— the way classical codes can be turned on their heads by colour, cut and decoration; or the way serious subjects can be tackled through idiosyncratic clothes. Till today, the designer’s work is defined by an electric tension—humour, whimsy and irony shot through with undercurrents of queer sexuality, fetish play and punk rock. In his latest collection, the designer melds sportswear with space gear, and menace with manga—to thrilling effect.