Founder in 2004 of the digital platform Catwalk Pictures, the Belgian Etienne Tordoir has been covering most of the major fashion shows for more than 3 decades. He shares his photos with magazines, but you can see the gallery of Belgian designers exclusively on the WBDM website.
The images taken in 1985 of the Dries Van Noten men’s fashion show really launched his career. It is fair to say that he is very attached to Belgium. For Catwalk Pictures, Etienne Tordoir covers shows in Paris, New York, Milan or London, but also those of Belgian and international fashion schools. Always on the ball when it comes to tracking down the future ‘greats’ of the sector in pictures, the photographer is one of the most discreet, but also the most talented ambassadors of Belgian fashion. One of his most intense memories? Anthony Vaccarello‘s fashion show for Saint Laurent in front of the illuminated Eiffel Tower in September 2017; one of the most intense moments of his career, but also an example that perfectly illustrates the multitude of talents born or trained in Belgium and now unavoidable on an international scale. What do the designers followed by Etienne Tordoir have in common? A freedom in creation, an incredible rigour and a discretion that many describe as “very Belgian”.
The Belgian school
The standard-bearer for designers committed to the most burning environmental and societal battles of the moment, the Frenchwoman Marine Serre has, in the space of a few years, won numerous awards (including the LVMH prize in 2017) which have highlighted her vision, her stylistic audacity and her thinking about clothing. Ester Manas, a graduate of La Cambre, like Marine Serre, and spotted during her participation in the Hyères festival, is committed to greater inclusiveness in fashion.
Belgian designers are no longer the exception among the major French and foreign fashion houses. We are thinking, among others, of Pieter Mulier, former right-hand man of Dries van Noten and worthy successor of Azzedine Alaïa, but also of Nicolas Di Felice. Known for his freedom of spirit, the same as that of André Courrègeswhom he succeeded at the head of his House, the Belgian – a former student at La Cambre – recently won the Designer of the Year award at the Belgian Fashion Awards. In the course of his career, Nicolas Di Felice has worked for Dior alongside Raf Simons, another key figure in Belgian fashion, who now works for Miuccia Prada.
And what about Demna Gvasalia? Of Georgian origin and a graduate of the Antwerp Academy, the founder of the Vetements brand is now at the head of Balenciaga. His strength: questioning fashion to free it from all its ideological or aesthetic certainties. Inviting itself where it is not expected? Perhaps this is also the strength of the Belgian school. Appointed artistic director of the Bottega Veneta brand, Matthieu Blazy (young Parisian graduate of La Cambre [mode]s) puts his multi-cultural background at the service of a House known for its artisanal know-how. The Belgians have always excelled in their thinking about clothing, but they also know how to make us dream. The new darling of the fashion scene, Glenn Martens, founder of Y/Project, is the new artistic director of the Diesel label. Last January, he was invited by Jean-Paul Gaultier to present a stunning and glamorous collection during the couture week.
Van Noten, Simons, Mulier, Serre, Manas, Di Felice, Gvasalia, Martens …. So many designers at the dawn or peak of their careers who will certainly give Etienne Tordoir the opportunity to thrill behind his lens.