For those who aren’t familiar with Van Beirendonck, he’s a designer of considerable prestige, having been prominent since the early 80’s, if not to the general public than to the fashion world. He’s what I’d like to think of as a “designer’s designer”. After graduating in 1980 from Royal Arts Academy in Belgium, he and five other Belgian designers (who included the more widely known Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester) were known as the “Antwerp Six”. It was those six designers who helped usher in the wild and unusual color, loud patterns and casual/dressy style mixing that eighties fashion is known for. Think, all those weird clothes you remember from watching Purple Rain and Pretty in Pink probably wouldn’t have existed without their help.
Anyhow, he still is showing collections, thirty years later. His most recent collection features a look undefinable in one phrase, as you can see, but I’m going to try: Tribal fetish dandy raceshifter. You can’t look at the whole collection (take a look here) or even the looks above and think it has nothing to do with race. The masks, with their cartoon-colored Caucasian skin, S&M references, and tribal nose piercing, could give enough discussion material for fashion major’s dissertation.