Walter Van Beirendonck called his fall collection “Zwart” — Dutch for black or dark. Perhaps it was chosen to reflect today’s somber times. Or maybe it referred simply to the line’s prevalence of camouflage prints, masked models’ faces and leather details contributing to its fighting feel.
Yet the designer has always injected a healthy dose of whimsy into his fashion, with this season being no exception. Most of the Belgian maverick’s looks for fall featured at least one faux heraldic creature — be it a bear appliqué hanging from boiler suit or trousers decorated with a fox holding an effigy of a small, naked man in its paw. Meanwhile, some jackets had oversized gloves, cartoon-style dangling from their sleeves.
The mix of military and naïveté were perfectly on-trend for fall. Plus adding to this collection’s strength was Van Beirendonck’s sharp tailoring — apparent especially in blazers and coats, which come both finely constructed and deconstructed (he’s a master of both). These included a wide variety of fabrics and colors, such as orange velour, gray tweed, green leather and camo prints.
Every so often busy details detracted from the pieces’ sartorial style, and the thumping live performance by Seidä Pass — replete with furry, horned musical creatures — also stole some attention. But regardless, this was one of the most interesting collections for Van Beirendonck in numerous seasons.