Photography: Lucie Rox
Dystopian vibes have dominated Men’s Fashion Week this season. From the literal ‘Dystopia Lives’ at Liam Hodges AW ’17 to the apocalyptic soldiers in Adidas Y-3’s Spring ’17 campaign, fashion has clearly been preparing for the end of the world. For Belgian designer, Walter Van Beirendonck, that means pagan black metal. To kick off Paris Men’s week, Beirendonck tapped an Austrian metal band clad in horns to open his AW ’17 presentation. The band performed in their monster masks as Beirendonck sent his collection down the runway.
Titled “Zwart,” which means black in the designer’s native language, the collection also referenced a post-apocalyptic dystopia, featuring animal embroidery, camo prints and a heavy military influence. With their faces almost completely covered, the models wore heavy coats attached to oversized gloves, channeling a sort of high fashion hazmat aesthetic.
“This collection is about healing the world and thinking about how we can eventually find a solution,” said Beirendonck. “The collection is called ‘Black’ because, for me, we are in a black moment—the world is dying. That’s why I wanted to add all these ingredients about paganism, ritual and animals. These things can add a contribution to the world.”
With such a dismal focus, Beirendonck added light to his collection through watercolor prints and feminine accessories. But the heaviness of a post-Brexit Trumpocracy ran through every presentation. If the world does end, at least we’ll have amazing clothing.
View photos from the Walter Van Beirendonck AW ’17 presentation, above.