Christian Wijnants’ Fall 2014 collection, which hit the runway at Paris Fashion Week on February 27th, highlighted the Antwerp-based designer’s fascination with the work of Japanese artist Fujita. Fujita’s subtle use of material and soft colors inspired Wijnants to create a range of textural patchworks. He said, “The prints were developed specifically for color blocking and then translated into knitwear.” That subdued color blocking was evident throughout many of Wijnants’ pieces, from dresses in luxurious textiles to self-assured jumpsuit styles to a snakeskin-esque top paired with denim, all shown with above-the-elbow gloves in white, black, tan, or softly colored leather.
Wijnants playfully mixed the eloquent knitwear he’s known for with tweeds in various weaves. He tucked a sleeveless knit cowl-neck top into comfortably cut tweed trousers detailed with snaps and a string tie at the waist, and he partnered the two fabrics in several mix-and-match shorts ensembles. Wijnants made one of these ensembles cozy by topping the knit separates with a chunky tweed coat gently rounded in the shoulders and cut with an unrestricting fit. For another shorts ensemble, he worked a thinner tweed in a very soft pink into a structured sleeveless coat and layered it over tweed shorts and a long-sleeved button-front blouse. A hint of the coat’s pink softened the all-over pattern of the blouse.
Wijnants played up some of his color-blocking with a pop of a bolder rust color. He used the color to paint an exuberant bandeau-like swath across the bodice of chunky knits and gave it center stage in a vibrant strapless knit top and soft culottes.
Wijnants explained, “the yarns and knit structures, fabrics and techniques—like padding and neoprene—were used to evoke the warmth and comfort of a wool blanket.” Models did indeed look both graceful and relaxed in softly colored quilted ensembles, combined with comfortable-looking boots, retro pulled-back hair, and natural makeup, with long gloves adding dramatic flair.
In keeping with one of the season’s trends, Wijnants featured silver metallic in skirts, jackets, and shorts. He took the sharp edge off the metallic pieces by quilting them or pairing them with soft pink, gold, or gray tops and shorts. In one outfit, a highly structured coat in a lovely marigold hue tempered loose, silvery shorts.
Models looked both graceful and relaxed in softly colored quilted ensembles complimented by comfortable-looking boots, retro pulled-back hair, and mostly natural makeup. Several models sported neon-colored eyebrows in orange, blue, and yellow. In these looks, the long gloves added a bit of dramatic flair.
Born in Brussels, Christian Wijnants moved to Antwerp in 1996 to study fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Art. After working with Dries Van Noten and Angelo Tarlazzi, he launched his eponymous label in 2003. It is now sold at 100 boutiques and department stores worldwide, including Barneys, Harvey Nichols, Joyce, Opening Ceremony, Tomorrowland, Printemps, and Graanmarkt 13. His website has more of his designs.
Fashion Designer: Christian Wijnants
Styling: Lotta Volkova
Makeup Artist: Inge Grognard, M.A.C. Cosmetics
Hairstyling: Christoph Hasenbein
Casting: Corinne Liscia
Music Senjan Jansen
Public Relations: KCD
Editor in Chief: Semant Jain, Ph.D.
Article Editor: Elizabeth Nash
Fashion Writer: Linda Zid