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Friday, June 26, 2009

Paris Men's Week: Walter Van Beirendonck

Some of Walter's shows have resonated in the fashion industry; others have signaled Walter's changing style. Spring '10 was one of the latter. Day-glo cyberwear was nowhere to be found, though pastel-acid greens and blancmange were still on view. Walter also used plus-sized bear models exclusively. Even if half that bulk was muscle, the show seemed to challenge the fashion media to separate good design from good packaging.

The collection concentrated less on Walter's imagination and more on the sort of clothes he, or the heavyset objects of his lust, might wish to wear. Baggy, loose lines dominated, with galabiya-style shirts and multi-pocketed jumpsuits very much in abundance. A blazer in a blue croc print proved Walter isn't short of ideas.

As if to push home the practical appeal of the collection, Walter modeled the last look himself. Anyone who’s had the misfortune of seeing certain fashion editors squeezing themselves into menswear’s edgier designers will be thankful for Walter's example. All this gave time for half of Walter's bears to gather on a stage previously hidden by a curtain and reemerge in Walter’s new line of underwear—filled out rather splendidly.

—Daryoush Haj-Najafi

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