Water van Beirendonck has never shied away from politics, but it takes a special kind of designer to send out an anti-terrorism message in Paris just two weeks after one of France's deadliest terror attacks in decades. So hats off to the Antwerp Six founding member, who responded to the Charlie Hebdo shooting by opening his AW15 runway show with a see-through tunic bearing the words: "Stop Terrorising Our World".
The slogan comes courtesy of his AW06 collection, also titled Stop Terrorising. Van Beirendonck told French newspaper Le Point why he was compelled to resurrect it. "I brought back this slogan because of what happened in Paris two weeks ago," he said. "Initially, I didn't want to make statements but when you see what is happening in the world, you must react."
But van Beirendonck also said he was not just responding to the tragic events at Charlie Hebdo – his collection, with appliques trumpeting "Demand Beauty” and “Warning: Explicit Beauty" – was also a reaction to another incident in Paris.
Remember the city's green blow-up Christmas tree, the one that many thought resembled a giant green buttplug? Artist Paul McCarthy's installation prompted a rightwing backlash and even led to an attack on McCarthy himself. Vandals lated deflated the sculpture, and it was removed from Place Vendôme.
Backstage, van Beirendonck expressed his disapproval of the censorship endured by McCarthy. "He was really limited in expression," he said.
You can read Susie Bubble' show report of van Beirendonck's AW15 show here.
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