Paradise Jewel Necklace by Walter Van Beirendonck

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glass beads, fabric, chain, leather
4.75" x 4"

This intricately beaded vignette necklace was included in Walter Van Beirendonck's 2019 collection "WOW: The Meltdown Collection," which featured the slogan "Endangered W. Species Unite." 

Van Beirendonck's jewelry remains central to his work, existing as remarkably detailed miniature art objects imbued with their own sense of life and magic. Van Beirendonck also often includes his avatar, "The Walter Man," as a cartoon-like protagonist who moves through the narrative or theme of a given collection, interacting with its characters.

Van Beirendonck's graphics have historically been a vehicle for addressing urgent contemporary social and political issues. His 1996 collection presented under the label "W.&L.T.," or Wild & Lethal Trash, in collaboration with the denim brand Mustang, directly addressed the AIDS epidemic, while later collections tackled everything from environmental devastation to futuristic utopian societies.

Walter Van Beirendonck (b. 1957, Brecht, Belgium) studied fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, alongside his peers Dirk Van Saene, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Bikkembergs, Ann Demeulemeester and  Marina Yee. The group came to prominence, under this name, when they presented their respective collections as a group fashion show in London in 1987. Since 1983, Van Beirendonck has amassed a remarkable and unparalleled body of work, pushing the limits of what garments, accessories, and the contexts in which fashion is presented can be. His clothes often take on sculptural qualities and he has become known for producing idiosyncratic fashion shows that function as immersive mise en scene for his collections, completing the world from which they come. In wearing Walter, you become a part of his world, and carry it into yours.