Escapism runs like a motif through the oeuvre of Christian Wijnants. Spring Summer 2020 builds upon the vastness of travel and rich encounters across borders that ensue. Its offering encapsulates singular sophistication in billowing shapes, tactile graphism and chromatic fervor.
As pulsating drum ensembles consume Palais de Tokyo, models stride in rhythmic tandem along a stripped-down corridor. Their hair contorted and slicked back, their faces painted with vivid dashes of indigo, jade, lemon and white, a prelude to the tonal direction that succeeds.
Echoes of the African American painter Henry Taylor resonate in a bright and forward color palette. As Taylor explores the dialogue between continents, Wijnants contrasts emerald and pistachio with tangerine and coral. Electric, pale blues and creamy, crispy whites round off a buoyant perspective on summer.
Prints take a graphic turn with bubble wrap serving as this season’s novelty: painted over by hand, stamped on paper, Wijnants translates animal-like motifs to sizable sequins on dresses, boiler suits, shirts and shorts. Ruffles and gatherings zigzag, spilling over at edges and seams, taking on a life of its own. A single alabaster hand-crocheted top-and-skirt set acts as a standstill amidst a promenade of refined, billowing volumes.
Wijnants’ study on cut and shape results in compelling and comprehensive silhouettes: cotton and linen blends inform a more structured tactility, while latex and leather combinations build tension in total looks. The designer discreetly borrows bold striped t-shirts from his menswear capsule, paired with loose-fitting shorts and trousers.
A multitude of shoes, hand-held bags and earrings add on to a discerning series of accessories. Knotted block heels offset the collection’s signature sophistication. Updated handbags range from maximalist leather or latex carryalls, tied at the shoulder, to nonchalant crochet purses. Sleek beaded earrings spell out like frenetic lines in motion, capturing the palpable frenzy at stake.
The collection will be available from January 2020 in selected stores worldwide, the Antwerp flagship at Steenhouwersvest 36 and on www.christianwijnants.com.