Concrete Blog

WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK: LUST NEVER SLEEPS

with 2 comments

Lust never sleeps. The title Walter Van Beirendonck gave his new show acknowledged the durability of our baser instincts. The clothes he made to accompany that acknowledgement won’t be matched on any other catwalk this season. Their combination of cartoonish joie de vivre and deeply sinister subtext was unsettling, a reaction that WVB has effortlessly courted throughout his career, as anyone who had the pleasure of seeing his recent career retrospective in Antwerp will know.

The collection was based around a literal face-off between masks: the kind that warriors in Papua, New Guinea, or voodoo high priests in the Caribbean paint on, and the leather kind that Western fetishists wear in big-city sex clubs. Van Beirendonck’s standard cast of African models wore these masks, most of them in an Elastoplast pink that was like a parody of Caucasian skin. He insisted that was simply because he liked the contrast, but the effect was profoundly disturbing.

And maybe it’s just because Van Beirendonck makes you think such thoughts, but it was hard to resist the idea that his sleekly civilized tailored suits were also a mask for a whole repertoire of beastly impulses. Lust never sleeps, remember. The designer certainly was full-on with his fetish references—not just the masks, but full-body leather waders, fluffy mohairs, and pointy little details such as the black rubber padlock around one model’s neck or the tiny tufts of fur that defined the fingernails on a candy-colored leather body glove. One set of waders, in leaf green leather, was worn over a jacket, shirt, and bow tie that matched. This outfit seemed particularly worthy of a psycho/sociological fashion analysis for the way in which propriety was restrained. The fact that it was all in cartoony colors hardly diminished its force. In fact, it simply highlighted the fact that the collection was a natural heir to Vivienne Westwood’s SEX shop or Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, two other instances of cartoon antics masking a lethal assault on the everyday. Stepping outside the Espace Commines into a drizzly Saturday morning, it was instantly, sadly obvious that the everyday will never, ever know what had hit it.

Collection available now at CONCRETE.

Written by Concrete Store

November 2, 2012 at 11:55

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hello,

    I’m in Los Angeles, California. Do you offer mail order service?

    Thank you!

    Daniel

    DTassist

    November 2, 2012 at 16:39

    • Hi Daniel,

      Thank you for your interest and yes we do ship internationally.

      Please drop us a line at info@concrete.nl and all will be sorted.

      Thanks.

      Have a good day.

      Team Concrete.

      Concrete Store

      November 15, 2012 at 11:08


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: