Belgian designer Christian Wijnants is neither new nor emerging (he won the prestigious Andam Prize in 2006), but he’s always fallen just shy of the mainstream, a well-kept secret for in-the-know tastemakers. For his most recent collection, Wijnants took to the streets for inspiration. “Two seasons ago, I made an imaginary trip through Africa for my prints. This time I wanted to go a little urban,” he says of his new collection, which boasts flowing dusters and trench coats. “That was the starting point, but it’s been constantly growing, and becoming more adult. I’ve included a lot of jackets and tailored pieces, which I normally don’t do.”
Most interesting is Wijnants’ propensity for “recycling” prints, which is what he calls the layering of older patterns to make a completely new design. “When you look closely you can see this print coming back under this one,” he says, parsing the details of a viscose tank top. As is his wont, Wijnants plays with washed-out hues, opting for colors like sand and slate to evoke his urban landscape. “We have a whole palette of pastels, starting from white, cream, and vanilla. Then there are the emerald colors, and then the dark color. This season is very conceptual—I really rely on non-colors.” Sure enough, magenta and green are the only vibrant hues with which he worked this season.
If thoughtful, layered prints, and a delicate sense of color make up Christian Wijnants’ vision of the modern city, we want a one-way ticket to Antwerp.