- New York Magazine
“This is a paean to one of the world’s lesser-known fashion designers, and Dream the World Awake is a book that should find itself in every supposedly au courant fashion library, for it reinforcesin a unique and sometimes demanding waythe concept that fashion is an art form.”
- New York Journal of Books
His wide range of inspirations, including technology, art, pop culture, and ethnography, are apparent throughout, as is the sense of (adult) fun that imbues his designs.
- New York Magazine
The best way to start off this review is to say that Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake is a book for fashion intellectuals. While this may seem like an oxymoron, this could not be much more accurateand I say this in the most appreciative way.
Walter Van Beirendonck was one of the original Antwerp 6 [from Wikipedia:] “The Antwerp Six refers to a group of influential avant garde fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980–1981. The fashion collective presented a distinct, radical vision for fashion during the 1980s that established Antwerp as a notable location for fashion design. They were Walter Van Beirendock, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee.”
For those who are fashion devotees/historians, these are names that echo a swinging of the pendulum within the world of fashion. Mr. Beirendonck is a fashion intellectual but one with a great sense of humor. Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the World Awake is a comprehensive and thorough study of his body of work since his start in the 1980s, lavishly filled with incredible photographs allowing you to enter this rarefied world.
Under ordinary circumstances, this type of fashionthat which requires textual references that must be studied in order to understand its origins and explain its position in the fashion worldbut this book is intriguing and enlightening. There are also countless quotes from Mr. Beierendock’s collaborators and contemporaries that also serve to let us in on the mindset of this particular sect within the fashion world; and we read about nothing but huge accolades as well as proclamations of friendship and admiration for the man who seems to bridge the chasms between art, fashion, and design to own a very small slice of the “fashion pie” in its entirety.
Just in case you are wondering why the price of this book is so extreme, you have only to hold it in your hands and feel the quality of the paper and see the fabulous clarity of its reproductions. This is a paean to one of the world’s lesser-known fashion designers, and Dream the World Awake is a book that should find itself in every supposedly au courant fashion library, for it reinforcesin a unique and sometimes demanding waythe concept that fashion is an art form.
Reviewer Jeffrey Felner is a columnist in The Examiner and Woman 2 Woman Magazine: Fashion by the Rules, and continues a long and successful career in jewelry and fashion design and merchandising.