Wool Week Belgium: Walter Van Beirendonck
Walter Van Beirendonck is one of the leading avant-garde designers in Belgium. Always going against the grain, always asking questions, he was eager to participate in the first Antwerp Wool Week.
Hi Walter. Tell us about the way you work with wool.
Walter: ‘I have always loved working with natural products. In wintertime, wool is certainly the basis of my collection.’
Can you talk about how you choose wool?
Walter: ‘I have always collaborated very closely with manufacturers and weavers in England, Scotland, France, Belgium and Italy. This always results in personalised woolen fabrics, with stripes, checks or fantasy-dessins that are custommade, and of course all colours are my own.’
This seems like a very long process.
Walter: ‘It sure is. I would call it an adventure full of deadlines, but it’s fun and it’s great once the collection is ready. After all these years I can still enjoy the satisfaction I feel once it’s all done.’
Pai Mai, knitted woolen dress decorated with embroidered applications; Walter Van Beirendonck H/W1994-1995, Collection MoMu Inv.nr. T13/1324. This dress refers to the Hui’an women from Quanzhou, China. Their traditional clothing is very colorful with flower patterned scarfs and jackets and wide pants in bright colors.
Freelance journalist Veerle Windels on Walter Van Beirendonck: Ever since graduating from the Antwerp Academy in 1980, Walter Van Beirendonck has been a game changer in the world of fashion. A member of the Antwerp Six, he conquered Paris at the end of the eighties and has since never stopped experimenting with aesthetics, materials, graphics and images. Walter won prizes, dressed U2 and had his own museum show in Antwerp, Sydney and Dallas. He also leads the fashion department at the Antwerp academy.