Walter Van Beirendonck Spring/Summer 2017 Paris

By Jennifer Weil

Never shy of going against the grain, Walter Van Beirendonck veered away from sportswear — a prevalent category on men’s catwalks for spring 2017 — with a highly sartorial collection. That’s not to say the Belgian maverick abandoned his traditional riot of hues, patterns and textures, but it didn’t obscure his masterful skill for fine tailoring.

 From the first look, a well-cut boiler suit, Van Beirendonck’s deft hand was evident on suit jackets, trousers and shirts. There was a healthy dose of whimsy, too, starting with his show’s theme, the “Alice in Wonderland” unanswerable riddle: “Why is a raven like a writing-desk?”

Always a pro at deconstructing as well as constructing, Van Beirendonck, for instance, cut holes into jackets from which colorful ribbons wafted. They dangled, in fact, from practically each look, a number of which had decorative motifs creating geometric face-like designs.

 Patterns were plentiful, too, like hand-printed traditional Dutch fabrics, called staphorster stipwerk, jacquards and stripes, all of which added to the quirky eclecticism that remains a Van Beirendonck hallmark.

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