Image courtesy of Walter Van Beirendonck.
It's not every day that Berkeley becomes the epicenter of fashion. Sure, we have a few gnarly alumni, but a crowd of fashion-crazed San Franciscans is a weird sight even for us. Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck, with his tongue-in-cheek menswear designs, made a rare debut at the Berkeley Art Museum this Sunday. Here are a few photos of the guests in attendance.
Left: The designers behind San Francisco-based RosenMunns.
Left: BARE Events Coordinator Seika Iwao and Creative Director Jordan Silver.
The setting was altogether a little too perfect. Orange hills from the BAMscape were a fair warning of what was to come. Upon research of the Antwerp Six designer, Beirendonck is not conservative in any sense. He takes what we see purely mundane--sweaters, cargo pants, blazers--and adds a sensible homoerotic touch to the mix. Italian wools on jackets are swapped for neon tyvek-like material (yeah, the stuff used for FedEx envelopes) and outdated shorts suddenly have lightning-bolt pockets! As if this didn't put a jolt into menswear, Beirendonck attracts a diverse group of followers as well.
The casting for the presentation was notable. With the influx of "normal" models on runways and magazines these past seasons, Beirendonck had a different body type in mind. His models aren't fragile nor ripped, but a certain genre of gay men known as the "bear." Clearly, yelling "Go Bears!" at this event would not have the same meaning as in Haas Pavilion.
Right: The designer himself, Walter Van Beirendonck.
At the end of the show, the models walked out in Walter underwear. All photography by Brittany Curran.
Here's a BARETV video of the end of the show.
The BAM became a gathering space for craftsmen, Castro bears, gay activists, and press (that's us!), all with the common love for Walter's hilarious clothes and models. We can only hope that more fabulous events like these make it across the bridge.
Walter Van Beirendonck is sold exclusively at MAC Modern Appealing Clothing in San Francisco.