Wishing to counteract these turbulent times with a collection that is both hopeful and empowering, one that is future-proof and rebirth-ready, I also wanted to take a beat from the past.
I have been showing my WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK collections on the official Paris Fashion Week schedule since 1995. For these social-distancing times, in which we can only present new work digitally, I got inspired by the resourcefulness of the French couturiers of the 1940s. Immediately after WWII had ended, there was a lack of means to stage expensive shows in front of an audience. As a solution to that problem as well as the fabric scarcity, it was decided to present all designs on miniature mannequins that traveled the world in 1945, called the ‘Theatre de la Mode’.
Together with Eli Effenberger – a former student of mine who lives and makes incredible work in Japan – and Trois Quarts Studio in Antwerp, I collaborated on 22 of the most amazingly eerie-looking miniatures.
My collection is called MIRROR. I toyed with the name GHOSTS WHISPER LOUD.
As turmoil has enwrapped the world and seemingly unimaginable events are becoming reality, we must turn away from each other or from the changes we know are desperately needed. Bold actions that I have spoken about my entire career:
AWAKE A NEW WORLD NOW
BE BOLD BE BRAVE
STOP TERRORIZING OUR WORLD
MY PLANET MY FUTURE
I designed and tailored pieces that serve as protection from evil forces, symbolize the oneness of humankind and represent a reawakening of beauty. The ghost-like figures on paintings by Swiss artist Miriam Cahn inspired my colour and print-palettes. Mirrors in different shapes and sizes bolster up silhouettes. Slogans remind you of the steps needed.
In each other we see ourselves. By learning from history, we avoid future disaster.