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Walter Van Beirendonck Spring/Summer 2018 Paris

The Belgian designer presented a more streamlined collection than in recent seasons.

By Jennifer Weil

Walter Van Beirendonck cryptically titled his spring collection “Owls Whisper,” which, when paired with “The Pure and the Damned” show tune, gave the sense that the designer was wistful for less tainted times at Garage Lubeck in Paris.

That seemed prevalent also in his collection’s silhouettes, which overall were simpler and more streamlined than in recent seasons. That’s not to say they were devoid of Van Beirendonck’s signature twists, like sports leggings in a riot of patterns popping out from under tailored shorts and a mélange of unexpected fabrics or deconstructed pieces, but even these had fewer dangling bits wafting off.

The designer’s deft sartorial hand was apparent throughout the collection, from the well-crafted, cartoony raincoats in green or orange with oversized sleeves and slouchy metallic pants to the assortment of more tailored pieces, such as checkered trousers and blazers.

Among the most eye-catching looks was the quirky series of jackets and shirts fronted with a patchwork of fabrics creating asymmetric, geometric faces. What did they express — anger? Pensiveness? That was open to interpretation, just like the collection’s overriding theme.

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