words Alexa Wang
We have a soft spot and great respect for Walter van Beirendonck here at Flux. He’s just an inspiring figure. I was full of self doubt and feeling frustrated the day the release about his latest collection plopped into by inbox. This lifted my mood right up. It seems Walter has been inspired by the search for the fabled city of DAWLEETOO. Of course we never got to see the city.
British explorer Alfred Isaac Middleton, who disappeared searching for the city, has gone down in folklore as an exalted but doomed hero. He reached for the skies and was never heard of again. The stories about the lost city though and the quest to find it continue. These have been lots of people over the years who have tried through art to bring it to life. Now it’s Walter’s turn. In his own words:
I love to research. That’s how I always start. Diving into memories, discoveries, history, art — new & old. My collection books filled with drawings and collages becoming visualisations of what is happening inside my brain.
Embracing fresh technologies has never been something I shied away from. But let me tell you: researching in the era of accelerated A.I. is trippy in many ways. This time, I stumbled upon incredibly intriguing images of DAWLEETOO. Was it a lost city? Or a fake place?
I am not ashamed to admit: when the first simulated visuals popped into my feed, telling truth from fiction wasn’t easy. I wasn’t the only one tricked, surely! WHAT WAS REAL AND WHAT WAS SURREAL? In a way I found it shocking. But I’m also curious. FASCINATED! Where are the machines taking us? The world around us is transforming at breakneck speed and it feels like we are being used as crash test dummies.
I CREATED AN ALIEN ALPHABET. Thinking of new pictorial characters that could be used in this mixed reality that we are now occupying.
This collection plays with hard materials for cover. Soft and vulnerable (one-)pieces underneath. Voluminous versus close-to-the-bone. Protection versus transparency. Monochromatic / Bi-coloured. Red/White – Black/Yellow.
WARNING! PAY ATTENTION. We are new world explorers and guinea pigs. Surrounded by hyper-myths, today’s fairy tales. COSMIC OUTSIDERS UNITE. Dream big but keep protecting our humanity.
WELCOME TO DAWLEETOO. XXX WALTER SPRING-SUMMER 2024
Make-Up—Jenneke Croubels & team
Hair—Charlie Le Mindu & team
Eyewear—KOMONO X Walter Van Beirendonck
Graphic Design—Paul Boudens
Show Production—Mark Vandebroeck
Thanks to the Fantastic W-team: Clara, Dorrith, Eiko, Ezio, Juan Pablo, Marlous, Susan, Wassim
Thank You to all the Dressers from Paris American Academy All Models via Tomorrow Is Another Day
Very Special Thank You to Dirk Van Saene