from all the levels of discernment in fashion, it didn’t surprise me that the only thing most reviews focussed on was the moss and flower beards sported by fabien verriest‘s models at the la cambre national school of visual arts final graduation show in brussels. my thrill on the other hand came from the complexities represented in the designs and the multi-focal philosophy, which seemed to me such a departure from the current design dilemma: the search for brand identity. that’s probably why student shows are generally a revelation to me. what they lack in professionality they make up for in ingenuity and perspective. they have a fearlessness that seems uncontrived and since they have little to lose and much to gain they are usually more imaginatively risque… as fabien verriest’s latest collection confirms. a burlesque affair with a strong expressive quality that is neither fantasy nor fiction, but rather a raw and eclectic combination of profoundly topical contrasts - between rich and poor, masculine and feminine, traditional and unconventional, dark and light and even between clothed and bare.

marcus vinicius pinna by quentin de wispelaere