WALTER VAN BEIRENDONCK’S IKEA
By Naomi Barling

Walter Van Beirendonck is the eccentric menswear designer known for making feathered crop tops, bubble wrap pants and neon leggings for men under mad collections titled “Sex Clown” and “Lust Never Sleeps.” But in an unexpected yet totally brilliant twist, the Belgian legend, whom was formerly the mentor to Raf Simons, is working on a new collaboration with IKEA, the Swedish furniture retailer who has been famous for inexpensive minimalist design since 1943. Van Beirendonck will create five quirky prints for IKEA, which will be rolled out on a whole collection of interior design objects. The collection is expected to his stores in June 2016.

Van Beirendonck was born 4 February 1957 in Brecht, Belgium and is a Belgian based fashion designer. He graduated in 1980 from the Royal Arts Academy in Antwerp and since 1983, had been presenting his own collections. Most of his work is inspired by the visual arts, literature, nature and ethnic influences. His unusual color combinations and a strong graphic influence are a trait for many of his collections.

In a video released by IKEA, the designer who is part of the Antwerp Six along with Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee says that his textiles are based around a concept he calls Wondermooi which is the Flemish word for “beautiful”.

“I came up with a story about characters living in the clouds, and the sun and the moon which were very sad because there’s so much going wrong in the world. They’re crying and big tears are falling down and the clouds get big holes. The cloud people really start to panic, What’s going on? Our clouds are broken!” says Van Beirendonck on his inspiration.”And that story, in fact, became a story with different characters and also by the end, different patterns. Every character had a very specific pattern and specific look; I used this to create different ranges of prints and fabrics,” he adds.

Van Beirendonck five creations inspired by an imagined colony of people who live in the clouds will be available from June 2016, so be ready to take a trip to your local IKEA.

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