Catching the Dutch designer — hailed as the next JW Anderson — at the back of his AW16 presentation, he told Wonderland that his use of his slogans, from his first collection’s ‘Fun Now’, Winter’s ‘Masc’ or this season’s ‘Cruise’ are all inspired by his online experience of the ever popular Grindr. For any regular user, they’ll know that profiles detailing types of hook-ups in one or two words are a rather popular motif in the world of dick/torso pics. ‘It’s a critique,’ says Pieter, ‘of the way people interact on Grindr.’ Bold indeed — perhaps targeting a specifically gay audience is limiting, but maybe if a heterosexual customer is unaware of the meaning behind the message it doesn’t matter. Incorporating bold statements onto garments is quite a Van Bierendonck trait (what’s not to love?). It’s direct in message — and his designs are no fuss, either.
Inspired by a photograph of Robert Mapplethorpe, chains and leathers abounded throughout the collection — with a much more sexual atmosphere woven into the clothes. Upper-wear was basic — jersey sweaters (with chains poking through), oversized as if to cover up a studded harness beneath. The classic Pieter unzippable skinny-to-flare pant was featured in a grey wool, and a black flasher coat in scratchy nylon would conceal to most outrageous ordeal… Exploring masculinity — essentially through sexuality — is Pieter’s MO, and he’s achieved it. The presentation was much like being stood in the basement of a giant Berlin techno club, febrile and seductive, much like many of the pieces from this collection.