Christian Wijnants presents the new collection for Fall & Winter 2021
If given the opportunity to explore an empty museum, how would you fill the space? This is the question that inspired Christian Wijnants’ Fall/Winter 2021 collection as he was given unique access to the Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts, a place that has been so dear to him. Over the past 10 years, the Museum has been closed for renovations, only previewing its restored 19th century structure and newly constructed minimalist addition to Christian, inviting him to fill the grandiose rooms and hallways with his creations. A poetic moment for the designer who first visited the museum as a student on the brink of his career, beginning his to-become namesake’s brand connection to art. However, this time, as the museum sits empty, Christian relied on his memories and vision to fill the space and walls that once held the same Flemish Primitives and Baroque paintings that have inspired him today.
The silhouettes are exaggerated, full of volume, designed to physically fill the oversized rooms and elongated, just like the art that used to hang on the walls and doors that welcome you in. There is a down cape and complimenting puffed bags, cacoon coats designed to appear as though they are cut out of woolen blankets, and peasant shapes that draw from medieval underpinnings. Heavy wool fabric is draped into skirts and swept by fridge, like a curtain grazing the old wooden floors. The knitwear brings in a Bicolor Plissé dress and the ottoman stitch, utilized as stripes. A long-sleeve floor length dress is styled with a scarf worn as a hat, materializing the old paintings that stood out in Christian’s memory.
Floral patterns feel like an ancient tapestry, overdyed and overlarge. Stripes are inspired by the chevron wood floors throughout the museum, construed in various ways, from quite fine lines cutting vertically on down jackets and lengthening dresses to magnified stripes seen as a two-tone knit. The colors are strategically chosen to reflect the feeling of exploring the various rooms, misty yet bright and historic, but refreshed. It consists of cooler hues such as antique pink, mint, fresh lime, and pistachio, paired with warmer tones such as emerald, bronze and rust.
The hair is clumsy and reminiscent of historic times, although ambivalent of the exact decade, and make-up is tonal and blurred, imagined to be misconstrued as just the reflection of the green walls. The Fall/Winter 2021 collection comes to life in the collection film, allowing you to explore Christian’s vision, hear the echo of footsteps wandering the space and escape to a feeling of serenity that being in an empty museum provides.