According to his press notes, Christian Wijnants latest offering for the upcoming autumnal-hivernal season was inspired by the work of Japanese artist Fujita, and his subtle use of materials and soft colors. The designer also promised to show a range of textural patchwork and specially developed prints which would evoke a sense of warmth and comfort. It was an ambitious and cerebral-sounding undertaking, which perhaps caused its own undoing.
The first few looks were indeed an exercise in fabric innovation applied to traditional silhouettes and garments. A beautifully cut mod-style off-white dress, and rolled hem pants highlighted the quilt technique of the theme. The pastels Wijnants alluded to, were also very much present. Absolutely no confusion of season here. As the show continued, there were more quilted looks as well as those 'special' printed knits. The use of accents such as beige, autumnal helped to ground the collection its proposed season, while the blues, okra, moss green provided a much needed pop of color.
But then the collection seemed to lose direction. A few badly coordinated aluminum metallic looks and floral-like dresses, with even more metallic strips, took the collection into 'too-experimental' territory. The poetic surreal universe, which was anticipated, gave way to laborious and impatience. In the end, as a collection it wasn't very cohesive, as there were least three or four themes, and a few pieces - notably those metallic bits - which left you contemplating their inclusion in the collection or even its relationship to the brief. I might not be able to visualize the woman who might be interested in wearing head-to-to Wijnants looks come fall, but there are some real gems, that is if she's willing to look for them.