Silhouettes from the Hard Beat collection

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Walter Van Beirendonck


Other, Dimensions variable .

Collection: Courtesy the artist and the Mode Museum, Antwerp.

The Hard Beat collection from Autumn/Winter 1989 took inspiration from the Belgian new beat phenomenon. It includes many multifaceted silhouettes that juxtapose knitted textiles with new industrial fabrics from the worlds of sport and safety, such as reflective material. Hard Beat was the first time Van Beirendonck used masks, which reference S&M, but also allow the wearer to evade and take on new identities. Some of the designs in the collection incorporate the Sony Walkman, which popularised mobile music listening during the 1980s. Many of Van Beirendonck’s clothes were adopted by participants of the rave scene, drawn to their unusual colour combinations and their sense of unrestrained expression and desire. The invitation for the Hard Beat fashion show was a cassette tape featuring a track by the group Real Man.

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