The special guest at this edition of Pitti Uomo is the Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck.
Walter Van Beirendonck, who was trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, is the most eccentric of the Antwerp Six – the six designers who, starting in the 1990s have made the city into a world fashion capital. On Thursday evening, 19 June in Florence, he will present the absolute première of his 2009 S/S menswear collection during a performance-event where his unmistakable style will play the starring role. It is the very first time that the Belgian designer brings his collection on a catwalk in Italy.
Linda Loppa, Dean of Polimoda Firenze and former director of the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, has said:
“Walter says: stop terrorizing our world and wear a nice sweater!
An ideal fashion student, an ideal rebel, an ideal teacher, an ideal (fashion) designer, a professional ‘tout court’!
Designing objects, exhibitions, shows, accessories, books, dolls, clothes for stars, children, adults, avatars, and friends…
Walter gives us a lot of energy, he let us dream of a better world, opens our eyes and gives us nice clothes…”
During the twenty years of his career marked by rigor and loyalty to his own poetics, Van Beirendonck has established himself as one of the most courageous innovators in contemporary fashion. His voice and style are above the choir, and are often defined as always modern and always unusual. Ever since the beginning he has been trying new mediums and new creative networks mixing photography and visual arts, graphics and web design, music and futuristic styling.
Far from mainstream logics and the lure of momentary fads, he is a transformer who is devoted to his own way of doing things. Van Beirendonck can be considered a true "healthy bearer of ideas" for the development of fashion.
His style is highly theatrical and his messages extreme, always open to several levels of interpretation: he transforms his fashion shows into spectacular events and also moments for thought. With just the right amounts of humor andcharisma, political and social themes find a place in his collections, tying in with elements such as violence, sex, nature and the cyber world.
Walter Van Beirendonck (Brecht, 1957) lives and works in Antwerp. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts where he is currently the director of the Fashion Department. He created his first collection in 1983 and made his official debut on the London runways in 1987 as one of the "Antwerp Six".