In Full Bloom

Introducing Christian Wijnants

Photography by Ted Belton

The designer of this moment, a moment of print, pattern, colour and femininity, is undoubtedly Christian Wiinants, the Antwerp-based wunderkind known for rich, layered graphics translated into knitwear and silks that float along the body. His powerful collection is found in Canada exclusively at 119 Corbo.

The collection includes pretty, airy floral jacquards that are lean and easily layered, silk dresses and voluminous blouses that will become summer staples, and cropped pants in metallic florals.

“He’s got that sophisticated Belgian look we love so much, and I was deeply attracted to his use of pattern which is so fresh right now,” says 119 Corbo proprietor Linda Perisa.

Wijnants’ indeed is steeped in the Antwerp Six psyche. He trained at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, which has turned out such fashion leaders and 119 Corbo alumni as Ann Demeulemeester, Martin Margiela, Dries van Noten, and Haider Ackermann, among others.

His graduate collection won the Dries Van Noten Award for best collection in 2000. After graduation, Christian presented his collection at the prestigious Festival d’Hyères, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. He also won the International Woolmark Prize in 2013.

“Christian invented a new shape … His designs are flattering, feminine and sexy, a modern interpretation of wool” said the late Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani at the time.

This season, Wijnants explores an imaginary Persia, translating its exotic essence into delicate floral prints and rich colours. The designer noted that he turned frequently to an Olivier Hartung book of street shots taken in Iran, taking its mix of architecture, public spaces, and humorous art—like quirky bird statues— as inspiration.

Creative Direction: Gianna Ritacca
Hair & Makeup: Erin Heather
Model: Danielle (Elmer Olsen)