Walter Van Beirendonck: Fashion’s Freedom Warrior

Spend any time in any Dover Street Market in the next few weeks and you’re sure to come across a futuristic totem pole, wrapped in 21st-century tribal gear, topped by a huge feathered headdress bearing the slogan “Stop Racism.” It’s a characteristically provocative signpost for the latest collection from Walter Van Beirendonck , newly installed at DSM under the auspices of Rei Kawakubo herself. The playfulness of the candy-striped totem, the seriousness of the message&#8230it’s a classic WVB combination, and it’s way past time that the world got to see it in its full glory, because until now, Van Beirendonck has been, by and large, a fanboy’s fave. Yet he’s been in business for three decades already.

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