Fashion
  • Text by  Nazanin Shahnavaz
  • Photography Alexandre Sallé de Chou
  • 20th January 2017

Walter Van Beirendonck shows are always far more than a catwalk with models. They are like intense performance pieces that engulf all the senses: Beirendonck melds music with art, politics, technology and often recruits a diverse cast, from line dancers to professional stilt walkers, horses and prehistoric reptiles.

One of the Antwerp Six, Beirendonck has consistently reinvented the concept of runway and after three decades at the forefront of Belgian fashion, the 59-year-old menswear designer continues to pull out all the stops. This season opened with an Austrian pagan band; the musicians were masked, horned and dressed in costume which resembled Krampus, the anthropomorphic ‘half-goat, half-demon’ folklore figure. They drummed rhythmically and played panpipes as the models slowly unfolded onto the runway.

The collection, entitled ‘Black’, reflected on the current state of the planet. For Beirendonck, the planet is dying and the new collection is about healing the world and think about how we can find solutions. The looks featured velvet evening jackets, leather bombers and tweed suits with pagan symbols of animals and natures as motifs throughout the collection. And in true Beirendonck style, he topped each look with a surreal twist and accessorised the models in giant oversized gloves and silk neckties worn as masks.