Walter Van Beirendonck at the media preview.
I can't believe I got to speak to Walter Van Beirendonck!!! Turns out we had a friend in common - Yann the owner of uber cool Tokyo boutique Wut Berlin who stock Walter Van Beirendonck. I was encouraged as 'media' to ask some questions, and I say the term loosely as I'm no journalist, my blog is just my personal experience, but in this changing world of new media I do try to ask questions relevant to my blog and readership. That's why I asked former Spice Girl Mel B about platform sneakers (the only person at the press conference to do so, most others were about her weight and Jenny Craig ad - snooze fest, I wanna know about her shoes from the Spice Girl days!!!) and why I asked Walter Van Beirendonck about Tokyo, where in the late 90s early 00s he had a W.&L.T. store and was heavily featured in FRUiTS magazine. He said that being featured in FRUiTS was more important than being in any fashion editorial in Japan at the time as it really translated to sales in the country - which is very interesting now with the popularity of street style and personal style blogs around the world don't you think? FYI the photo was taken by my talented photographer friend Elliot Lauren, thanks for capturing the moment so perfectly Elliot.
RMIT fashion students arrived at the media preview as a 'student runway' paying homage to the great designer whilst showcasing their own designs.
So much creativity and most importantly SWAG.
I can't get over how good all the students looked.
My first experience with Walter Van Beirendonck is seeing his clothes in the first issues of FRUiTS magazine I bought back in 2001 as a 16 year old and wanting desperately to see them or buy them in person. I would see the W.&L.T. shopping bag above all the time in every issue and think to myself I needed to go to that shop pronto. Sadly by the time I did get over to Tokyo in 2003 it was closed and all my original FRUiTS magazines from the time were stolen, but I do have the FRUiTS book which is where I got these Harajuku street style images, dating from around 1999-2000 of people wearing W.&L.T. Above to the left is Sakatch who wears a t-shirt, long t-shirt and bag all by W.&L.T. and over the page is Mizutchi whose bag is W.&L.T.
Saori on the left wears a W.&L.T. 'Puk Puk' bag and over the page to the left Youyou wears the same character but in dress form.
Puk Puk was obviously a popular design in anime character obsessed Japan, where even the police have a cute mascot!!! To the left Hirohide wears a Puk Puk shirt and bag by W.&L.T. and over the page Inachi's backpack and shopping bag are by W.&L.T.
Archin and Masabo are both wearing W.&L.T. bags and over the page Hi to the left is wearing a W.&L.T. shirt. I think seeing Walter Van Beirendonck's clothes being worn outside of a gallery space makes them see all that more wearable, less like art and more like the the functional industrial design he sees his work as.
Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream The World Awake
RMIT Design Hub
Tuesday to Friday: 11am - 6pm
Saturday: 12pm – 5pm
Open until 5th October 2013