This season, Wijnants tried himself at a political, yet fashionable, statement. His collection, told us the designer backstage, was an ode to Islamic women in Somalia, who put themselves at risk by transgressing religious rules, when wearing sports clothes.
“I loved the article that I read about women in Somalia who were playing basketball, risking their lives when they do that, as it is forbidden. I liked the idea of mixing cultures, sport and religion and tried to expose all these inspirations into one storyline,” explained the designer backstage.
Thus, the notion of exposure became Wijnants guiding thread for this season: outfits consisted of layered thin garments, the top one being transparent in order to unveil the one beneath. Comfy, légère and oversize, Wijnants achieved quiet unexpected volumes with washed linen, sheer organza, and printed chiffon, such as an ultra-light cinched, printed chiffon dress with boxy shoulders, and adorned his looks with numerous uneven hems and ruchings.
Apart from the oriental-flavored show soundtrack, there was no direct references to African fashion, but sportswear was truly omnipresent, and twisted to match the runway. It started at the bottom of the silhouettes, with tennis-socks sported with heeled boots – a fashion faux pas, though – and evolved into more graphic looks, such as a pair of sheer white, textured shorts, that sat loose on the waist, patched with two oversize pockets in the front, and worn with a boxy, wide-sleeved top. The color-palette subtly underlined the sporty aesthetics, with pale blues, white and beige hues, and a few hints of chartreuse green, cobalt blue, next to an occasional animal print.
His sporty chic outfits convinced the audience, but a row of outfits with tassel adornments were completely misplaced, and broke with his, otherwise, impeccable narration. “I worked a lot with light, fluid and airy fabrics, which was quite a challenge for me, as I usually focus on heavy knitwear,” added the designer. This, and his signature style knits, would be highly appreciated on the runway next season.