German artist Joseph Beuys has been a mascot-muse for An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx since they began. So it’s surprising that until now the Belgian duo never came around to this Fall’s conceit: conjuring Beuys’ female companion. The thought led them to choreographer Pina Bausch, a creative peer, and a mix of her masculine way of dressing and the bias-cut silks in which she costumes her dancers.
On the runway, the designers’ riff had a dreamy serenity, and this was easily one of their best collections to date. As a nod to the artist’s felt-covered objects and to preserve his aforementioned companion’s imaginary status, this parade of Beuysian belles was appropriately covered up. Stephen Jones made the fedoras—echoing Beuys’ own ever-present millinery—that were cleverly perforated in front to pull over the face while avoiding any blinded-model disasters. Scarves in rabbit fur and chunky knit completed the obscuring.