Walter Van Beirendonck’s most talked about piece of his AW15 collection was without any doubt a long plastic tunic with the words ‘Stop terrorising our world’ on it. The collection was debuted at Paris Fashion Week in January 2015, just weeks after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Since then, Paris and Brussels have been the victims of tragic terrorist attacks, both claimed by ISIS. After that, Walter Van Beirendonck’s tunic now means so much more than just a reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
The tunic is now being used on the posters for the annual shows of the two biggest Belgian fashion schools – the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and La Cambre in Brussels. With this symbolic gesture the rival fashion schools want to send out a strong message into the world.
“I initially thought it was a bizarre request because my work is so strongly linked to the Antwerp Academy. And then I quickly realised that it would be a very strong message, and a beautiful symbol, to reaffirm that it’s time to stop differentiating Belgian fashion along linguistic borders. So we worked with the same garment on both posters, to reassert a joint commitment against terrorism, and to demonstrate solidarity between Brussels and Antwerp.”
– Walter Van Beirendonck, director of the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp
Rival Belgian Fashion Schools
Both Walter Van Beirendonck as Tony Delcampe, who are the directors of the 2 biggest Belgian Fashion Schools, are icons in the world of fashion these days. On Beirendonck’s honour roll: Raf Simons, Kris van Assche at Dior, and Demna Gvasalia at Vetements and Balenciaga. On Delcampe’s list: Anthony Vaccarello at Versus Versace then Saint Laurent, and Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne. That being said, it is obvious the two have a major influence on the fashion industry as it is today. Because of that, La Cambre and the Royal Academy of Fashion in Antwerp are often compared to each other.
[Stay tuned as we are officially covering the annual SHOW2016 of the Royal Academy of Fashion in Antwerp!]