Always out for a new challenge, Christian Wijnants tackled draping this season — with chunky knitwear, of all things. Being a knits specialist, he managed to go full throttle, and sent out a series of bold ensembles in a fat English rib stitch — including one in bright orange. And they flowed, believe it or not: a sleeveless dress carried panels that floated outward while long-sleeved sweaters were built with extra flaps that folded this way and that. Trousers made of the stuff were extra roomy with low crotches. It made for a comfy, Sunday lounge at the museum for arty types.
“You can do all sorts of architectural things, and that’s what I love to do — architecture, but a little bit fluid still,” he said backstage after the show.
There was also crochet work, thick and stiffer this time, almost shell-like or reptilian, as Wijnants pointed out, which he used for oversize sweaters that he threw over slim skirts.
In contrast with those bulkier numbers, Wijnants also applied his draping techniques to lighter fabrics, criss-crossing panels across the chest, or wrapping them around the neck like a scarf.
Another one of his fortes is prints, which were scarcer than is customary for the label, but included a stylized amoeba-like pattern — germs? Coronavirus? — splashed on a crisp silk suit, with pencil trousers worn under the boxy jacket. Weird and elegant at once. Mesh dresses, with rolled strips of jersey came in a snakelike orange, red and white stripes, or in a periwinkle blue — red carpet-ready looks, really — that he paired with a stylish mohair coat in the same color.
All those volumes added up to give a reptilian flavor to an otherwise very feminine lineup — Wijnants has a knack for widening the scope of the brand with novelty.