Christian Wijnants



Paying homage to Somali women who risk their lives playing basketball, Christian Wijnants’ new collection is a tribute to those defying danger for their passion. Expressing his admiration for women who hide their sports clothes under the veil -transgressing the religious rules of their country in war- the Belgian designer deals with the notions of exposure and concealment, hovering between the hidden and the unveiled. He balances utilitarian classics with refined fabrics, adding femininity and unexpected contrasts to straightforward shapes. This season, the silhouette is comfortable, layered and ethereal, emphasizing freedom of movement and oversize lines.

Toying with the idea of ethnic tradition and timeless clothes, Wijnants injects some urban cool into his stylish separates, drawing on the dynamic energy of African culture, as well as the clash between North and South. Sports symbols -such as squad numbers and placed stripes- are reinterpreted to become abstract signs, giving them a new graphic edge. Asymmetrical effects -in the form of draping, pleating or uneven hems- appear on several pieces, underlining the designer’s instinctive approach for spring, as well as his interest in contemporary street style.

While pants are billowy and fluid, drawstrings appear on skirts and shorts, allowing them to sit loose or high on the waist. A soft jumpsuit can be worn day and night, gently following female curves. Emphasizing imperfections -as opposed to neatly structured shapes- Wijnants’ clothes appear to be morphing on the body, expressing a longing for transformation and emancipation.

Colors are soft and serene, from pale blue and white to brown, beige and black. An intense shade of blue -recalling the Tuareg in the desert- echoes the intensity of a vibrant chartreuse green. Animal prints are abstracted in gray and white, while a multicolored bark print appears on several styles. As far as fabrics are concerned, evanescence prevails, with crisp silk organza, washed linen, silk chiffon and airy knits. Techno materials are used for lightweight parkas, which can easily be folded and concealed in a bag. Layered fabrics are important as well, playing with the idea of hide and seek.