Think of falling into a toy box after a disco night high on something chemical — and out comes Tom Van Der Borght’s men’s wear vision, livestreamed from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week’s Kraftwerk Berlin on Monday evening.
The former power plant and techno destination befitted the Belgian designer’s visual mixtape. Expanding on “Seven Ways to Be TVDB”, the collection that won him last year’s Première Vision Grand Prize at Hyères International Festival of Fashion and Photography, Van Der Borght presented a psychedelic explosion of colors and textures, abundant with plush textures, crystals, pearls, tinsels and tassels.
A squad in boiler suits and colorful masks in the designer’s likeness helped present 24 exuberant looks that mixed one-off couture pieces with some of his TVDB brand’s basic streetwear items like tights and caps. Here was a silver floral-quilted jacquard suit brimming with ruffles; there a giant tinsel sweater with tassels and wrap-ties.
“It’s about embracing everything out of the box, but it was also a challenge to incorporate wearable parts”, the designer told WWD in a call after the performance. “It’s an extreme self-portrait and as my first show in the pandemic, it’s a profession to hope, love and connection that we so desperately need in these times.”
While Van Der Borght already focused on small production and sustainable practices since he started his brand in 2013, he said the prize’s mentorship helped smooth production processes, and helped him source more innovative materials and sharpen his vision. “It’s an amazing chance for young designers and it’s heartwarming to see that the industry welcomes innovative approaches,” he said.