Words by Guido Avelino
Rising to fame as a member of the Antwerp Six, Walter Van Beirendonck has inspired creatives across the world with collections that speak to issues of gender, sexuality, community and social welfare. So, the creative mind of Van Beirendonck comes as no surprise. But now the designer welcomes all fashion aficionados to enter his world once again with The Journal 3023.
Created with carte blanche from Van Beirendonck’s visionary mind, the limited edition journal features pictures from the designer’s latest collections as well as several shoots done with photographer Ronald Stoops, capturing the essence of his brand over the years. With a career that started in the early 1980s, Stoops photographed almost every major Belgian designer associated with the illustrious Antwerp fashion department.
As suggested by 3023 in the title, the project plays with the perception of time—an important issue in Van Beirendonck’s work, and something he sees as malleable. As such, the journal proposes pages designed to twist the viewer’s mind, dreamed up in partnership with Belgium graphic designer Paul Boudens. His approach to design comes from merging the tangible and the digital, creating a graphic signature that became a stamp on Antwerp’s art scene.
”I am using the past to really create a kind of future. It’s very contemporary what I’m doing but at the same time it’s also timeless and that probably has to do with the way I’m dealing with my topics and my inspirations. It’s each time another story but at the end, it’s all mixed in an incredible way.”
— Walter Van Beirendonck
Back in the mid-1980s, as a promising up-and-coming artist Walter, alongside Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee, started a fashion movement that would later reframe the fashion industry as we know it today, with a distinct artistic style that proposed implementing fun designs and their own flair into their pieces, marching in a different direction then every other powerhouse at the time.
Following the motto “work hard, play hard”, Van Beirendonck has always shared with the world his perception of creative matters through the use of unusual patterns and colour combinations with refined craftsmanship. Now, as the head of the Fashion Department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, he passes along knowledge and inspires the generations to come.
The journal is a celebration of all of his work compiled, praising diversity as well as reminding us of the power that comes along with working outside the box. The luxury diary, which includes a biography of Van Beirendonck written by the inimitable fashion journalist Veerle Windels, is the first of a series of journal collaborations with other creatives from Belgium and beyond, from the publisher Borgerhoff & Lamberigts.
For our part, we can’t wait to see what emerges from the Waltervibe next.
Publisher: Borgerhoff & Lamberigts
Specs. 208 pages, softcover, 200 x 270 mm
Text by Veerle Windels, graphic design by Paul Boudens,
Imagery by Ronald Stoops
Release: October 2022
Price: 79,99 EURO