by Alexander Fury .

Reporting live from the world of Walter Van Beirendock...

It is a very strange experience examining the archives of Walter Van Beirendonck - namely because you can see, in his fervent and fertile creativity, seeds of inspiration eagerly seized upon by many other designers (and we're not just talking high-street). But putting inter-designer borrowing - or, indeed, all-out plagiarism - to one side, the fashion industry has always been known for a somewhat magpie approach, filching inspiration from a myriad of sources and fusing the seemingly disparate into exciting new hybrids - thus the 'X meets Y' spiel that has become a cliché of contemporary fashion journalism.

However, with Van Beirendonck, those X and Y components are, arguably, less disparate and more polar opposites. And that's all part of the thrill. Van Beirendonck's visions are entirely unlike anything else in the fashion lexicon, meaning ideas he originally concocted five, ten or even twenty years ago still seem fresh, exciting and even a little shocking.

Over the past day and a half, we've seen latex fetish meeting Marvel superheroes, leathermen meeting cyborgs, cyberpunks meeting muscle-marys, and many a bear meeting, well, many a bear (in every meaning of the word). Throw in Maharajah jewellery, lashings of Lycra and a palette that doesn't know the meaning of the term monochrome, and you have a pretty good idea of the Walter world Nick Knight and Simon Foxton are seeking to capture, through both still and moving image, in this marathon two-day whirlwind trip around Van Beirendock past, present and - overwhelmingly - future.

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