When Antwerp based Christian Wijnants scooped the prestigious International Woolmark Prize last London Fashion Week, he joined a line of pioneering past winners that include Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld, and established himself as a major emerging international talent. His hand-dyed chunky seamless knits were the stars of his collection - artfully shaped from a single yarn of Merino wool to flatter and sculpt the female form.
Wijnants’ singular vision of femininity is one that Christopher Romberg, co-owner of Munich based concept store Schwittenberg has been certain of for several years - ‘I was introduced to him by a friend from Vienna in 2008...Christian made a great impression with his modesty and cleverness. This made me curious about his collection’.
Establishing his label a decade ago, after working for Dries Van Noten and Angelo Tarlazzi, Wijnants’ S/S 13 collection is masterful in its signature creation of fluid shapes. Romberg explains that ‘his pieces have an easy silhouette with a little twist that comes from the print, the fabric, details in the texture, a small draping or a unique cutting line.’ This season, prints are grainy and mottled in camo greens and underwater blues, and rectangular in vibrant art-deco styles. Soft knotted waists and draped details are juxtaposed against sharper androgynous shirts and square-shouldered bomber jackets. ‘I’m a big fan of his prints, the subtlety of his knitwear and his dresses’ Christopher says.
A subtly beautiful space of minimalist white walls, mirror and glass, the understated elegance of Wijnants aesthetic reflects Schwittenberg’s own interior design. Romberg also believes that Wijnants’ own collection is one ‘that fits and appeals to very different customers, it always looks great both on daughters and their mothers. These two aspects perfectly reflect the aesthetic and idea of Schwittenberg.’
Romberg refers to a dark green snakeskin dress that uses Wijnants’ trademark draping techniques as his favourite piece of the collection. With its imaginative prints, boyish bombers and laid back playsuits, we want to wear it all...