Walter Van Beirendonck retrospective, Antwerp

Screen of images with men wearing different costumes
Walter Van Beirendonck S/S 1993, Wild & Lethal Trash!
(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Walter Van Beirendonck (opens in new tab) is one of fashion's true mavericks. Graduating from Belgium's Royal Arts Academy (opens in new tab) in 1980, he was one of the illustrious 'Antwerp Six' - alongside Dries Van Noten (opens in new tab), Dirk Bikkembergs (opens in new tab), Ann Demeulemeester (opens in new tab), Marina Yee and Dirk Van Saene (opens in new tab) (his partner of 30 years) - who together disseminated a radical new aesthetic and placed Antwerp firmly on the fashion map. Now the

Antwerp Fashion Museum (MoMu) (opens in new tab) is celebrating the 54-year-old designer's three decades at the cutting edge with the first ever large-scale retrospective of his work, entitled 'Dream the World Awake'.

Describing himself as a 'storyteller' who has always conceived his catwalk shows in tandem with his collections - rather than as an afterthought - Van Beirendonck never shies away from combining politics with fashion, tackling issues like the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Aids and mass consumerism. The MoMu exhibition looks back at some of his notable triumphs, including his spectacular shows in Paris in the 1990s under the W.&L.T. (Wild and Lethal Trash) label as well as various projects beyond the catwalk - such as designing the costumes for U2 (opens in new tab)'s PopMart tour in 1997.

Van Beirendonck has collaborated with stylist Simon Foxton and photographer and SHOWstudio.com (opens in new tab) founder Nick Knight to create a new photography and video project especially for the exhibition. A hardback 240-page exhibition catalogue will also be available through Lannoo Publishers (opens in new tab) (Dutch) and ACC (English), its arresting contents revealing a designer whose work can be playful, iconoclastic and unsettling - but never boring.

Bad Baby Boys

Walter Van Beirendonck A/W 1986–87, Bad Baby Boys

(Image credit: Photography: Patrick Robyn)

King Kong Kooks

Walter Van Beirendonck S/S 1989, King Kong Kooks

Illustration: Jan Bosschaert

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Killer/Astral Travel/4D-Hi-D

W.&L.T. S/S 1996, Killer/Astral Travel/4D-Hi-D

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Man wearing black mask

Walter Van Beirendonck A/W 2001–02, Revolution!

(Image credit: Photography: Elisabeth Broekaert)

Model wearing a big tie

Walter Van Beirendonck A/W 2001–02, Revolution!

(Image credit: Photography: Elisabeth Broekaert)

Relics from the Future

Walter Van Beirendonck S/S 2006, Relics from the Future

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Image of Walterman

Walterman - a figure that frequently appears on Water Van Beirendonck merchandise and on the brand's website

(Image credit: Design: Paul Boudens)

Hand on Heart

Walter Van Beirendonck A/W 2011–12, Hand on Heart

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Models painted on their face

Walter Van Beirendonck A/W 2011–12, Hand on Heart

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Studio with his own toy collection

Reconstruction of Walter Van Bierendonck's studio with his own toy collection

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Dream The World Awake exhibition

Installation view of the Walter Van Beirendonck - Dream The World Awake exhibition at the MoMu Fashion Museum Antwerp

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

Cloud in the entrance hall of MoMu

Crinoline in the form of a cloud in the entrance hall of MoMu - a collaboration between Walter Van Beirendonck and the Austrian artist Erwin Wurm

(Image credit: Photography: Ronald Stoops)

’Walter’s Wild Knights’ installation

'Walter's Wild Knights' installation - a video collaboration between Nick Knight's SHOWstudio, Simon Foxton and Walter Van Beirendonck, using archive shoot images

(Image credit: Photography: Boy Kortekaas)

Another image of ’Walter’s Wild Knights’ installation

'Walter's Wild Knights' installation - a video collaboration between Nick Knight's SHOWstudio, Simon Foxton and Walter Van Beirendonck, using archive shoot images

(Image credit: Photography: Boy Kortekaas)

ADDRESS

Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp - MoMu
Nationalestraat 28
2000 Antwerp

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