The dramatic entrance at A.F Vandevorst was, for those guests not sitting front and center at today's show, more of an aural experience than a sight to behold, as a motorcade of bikers descended in the courtyard of Paris' historic medical faculty. A bit late for the first day of school but perfectly on time for Spring 2016, An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx returned from an East-to-West road trip with some souvenirs.
You can take the girl off her bike, but you can't take her biker spirit from her, even when the occasion calls for a long pleated skirt, worn over trousers with hands stuck in the pockets. There were flashes of the experimental prouesse that made the reputation of Belgian design, in the intricate crochet masks and body suits, or the reinterpretations of military regalia. That pristine white greatcoat, cut from aluminum bonded cotton, was a sight to behold. A hint of animal print here, some oriental ornamental designs there, road signs and a neon orange stripe running down the back of gorgeous footwear; there was much to look at, and much to admire in this collection imbued with rock spirit.
But unlike tchotchkes collected over the course of such a trip, the diverse inspirations that animated the different thematic groups didn't quite mesh with a thread of commonality. Don't be mistaken, the tailoring here was as superb as could be expected from the duo. As an ensemble, it was well-put-together enough, but could have been all the more powerful, had the dust settled more fully.