This Fall season has been dubbed by many the 'Season of the Suit'. From Prada's parody play on power, to Louis Vuitton's globe-trotting class, there has been much thematic emphasis on the outward display of refined prestige. Business with Walter Van Beirendonck, of course, was of quite another nature...
Antwerp Six cohort Beirendonck entitled his latest collection 'Lust Never Sleeps'; as in, no matter how deliciously prim, proper, and prosperous a man may appear, baser instincts always loom prevalent. Suits? They made their appearance. Although, on this runway they were used as a basis for contrast, a face-off if you will, between the painted primal masks of Papua New Guinea warriors or Caribbean Voodoo priests, and the leather bound cousins of Western sex club fetishists.
As anyone familiar with the WVB archives would expect, the collection held a strong and invasive message, delivered boldly in lively print and strong colour. Details of emphasis were seen in full body leather waders, body gloves, and black rubber padlock charms. Walking canes, usually symbolic of the upper class, were reconfigured into kinky staffs. Some may even note that a few looks were reminiscent of the Nadsat delinquents of Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange"; perhaps a nod to the surging darkness of the teens' primal instincts 'at play'.
All themes aside, I found the collection to be incredibly wearable, and hope to see some of those cleverly blocked suits and fantastic outerwear on the streets. After all...lust never sleeps, so it might as well see the light of day.