Walter Van Beirendonck

Not satisfied with being known for inspiring and politicising fashion or curating numerous exhibitions and publications on popular culture, Walter Van Beirendonck has also been heavily involved in the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Art course.

He is far from a guest lecturer, and in 2007 became the head of the department.

Numerous forward thinking designers have studied under Walter including Bernhard Willhelm, 4 favourite Kris Van Assche, and Wim Neels.

Dazed & Confused asked Walter to highlight a number of his current and recent students that you should definitely keep your eye on in the future.

Find his selection of a few talented Antwerp students is Walter Van Beirendonck’s own version of the Antwerp 6 in 2010 below.

Find below an extract of the interview with Walter Van Beirendock (WVB):

DD: You studied at the Royal Academy in Antwerp with people like Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten and Dirk Bikkembergs and you all showed together at the London Fashion Fair in the mid-80s…

WVB: We did that show in 1988, mainly because we wanted to get out of Belgium, as we couldn’t attract international press at that time. We just decided London was the best place to go. Six of us travelled together to do that fair: Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, Marina Yee and myself. It was there that the term the ‘Antwerp Six’ was coined.

D: Do you have continuing ideas that have run through your collections?

WVB: Each collection has something in particular about it, based on what I see happening in the world, but all my ingredients are similar. The ethnic inspiration, different types of tribes and rituals, are always there, as is changing the boundaries of men’s fashion and gender: I like tension, and I try to provoke tension.

DD: Are you looking to create a new idea of what menswear can be?

WVB: It’s not that I want to dress men up in womenswear – I am simply using elements that are normally seen on women on a man. For instance, in the latest collection we did red lips and red nails on the men. It was super-interesting to me that even though both of those ideas are very well known on women, when placed on men it looked really masculine. That masculinity is important to me.

Find the whole interview and the original blog post from Dazed & Confused here.