INTENSITY PORTRAITS #1: Walter Van Beirendonck

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Paris I, Theatre du Châtelet, 24th June 2015, 16h30 – one couldn’t have imagined a more perfect setting to host the Belgian Masters ss16 show. Passing under the arcades to enter by the Palladian entrances of the Haussmanian monument, we discover the magistral interior layout of the second empire masterpiece: Horse shoe hall type, lightened by cristal chandelier and golden mouldings. A cabaret-like setting for Walter van Beirendock’s new narrative: “Electric Eye”.

As the lights go out, the story begin on EKKO’s “rehearsal” gloom piano notes accentuating the contrast between the naive prints and the actual underlying message of the collection. Careful, the electric eye is watching. Walter van Beirendonck, storyteller, is a master in delivering subversive and socially touchy messages wrapped in apparent sweetness and innocence.

As the show goes on the message becomes clearer and clearer, like a warning. Exit the naive creatures, the last models enter the runaway, perfectly tailored monochrome silhouettes, Stephen Jones’ dramatic headpieces jammed hard on their head seem to suck their soul echoing David Bowie’s Moorage Daydream melody “Keep your ‘lectric eye on me babe”.

A couple of days after the show, making the most of van Beirendonck’s busy agenda, we had the pleasure to have a conversation about the Electric Eye, communication, images, rituals, genders and sex.

Special thanks to Joost Jansen and Stéphanie.

Video & Editing Shôta Sakami.

Direction & interview Céline Bischoff.

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