I’ll be honest (to a fault, always). For someone who has lived and breathed fashion ever since my mom put the April 1996 issue of L’Officiel in my Easter basket, there really isn’t much current “fashion” that I feel a kinship towards. Perhaps it’s the metaphorical meat grinder of season-to-season industry pressure, but often I get the feeling when I watch a runway show or collection presentation that I’m simply watching a business transaction take place. Which I am, but it doesn’t make it any less of a #bummer that aesthetic risk has increasingly little place in today’s economy.
Sometimes—rarely—a designer uses concepts, and not references from the past, that ultimately hit the same emotional sweet spot that a timeless melody does. Belgium’s Tom Van Der Borght does just that. His AW13 collection mixed striking sublimation prints, digital knits, and equal parts neatness and volume, giving us a series of highly-wearable pieces that, when worn together as a uniform, feel somewhere between Nick Cave’s Soundsuits and Bradley Benedetti’s entire ouevre. Van Der Borght’s use of industrial high-tech (the prints and knit) doesn’t hinder a natural, almost tribal quality that reads as a refusal to adapt to the necessity-driven dullness of modern society. To that end, I see parallels with black metal culture in his designs as well.
Watch Van Der Borght’s video below, which makes me lament the closing of Seven New York, as it would have been perfect for both their racks and TV screens.