Einstein once remarked that there’s no inspiration in an empty room, which is probably why the fifth floor of Antwerp’s Royal Academy smells of burnt leather. I still do.[London men's designer] Craig Green worked with you and you’ve been quoted as saying you taught him to voice himself. I try to view stuff from the students’ perspective as much as possible.A student is adding loafer details to his Adidas Superstar sneakers, while in the back of the museum-like white cube chamber, students are gazing at a Stockman tailor dummy. We had national recognition, but internationally that meant nothing. We had no forefathers who paved the way for our success. At other schools teachers seem more dominant, like Vivienne Westwood. With all due respect, because dominance isn’t easy to maintain, but that’s not how we do things here.
The head of Antwerp’s Royal Academy fashion course is sporting a pair of his own Crocodile shoes.
I’m wearing sneakers by his former intern Raf Simons, hoping he’d understand the homage.
I’d come to regret that choice later in the interview when Walter tells me “I didn’t want to hire Raf at first.” There are mainly two types of answers you can get to any question you ask Walter.
The first kind is a sort of appropriation, where he makes you regret your question and serves you an answer you could’ve easily guessed yourself.
You could say that there’s a certain creative flow going on here, but to really understand the underlying structure of this elite school for aspiring fashion designers there’s one man you need to speak to: the head of the fashion course, Walter van Beirendonck. Just four years after graduating I was asked to come back and teach. To be working with such young people, as a teacher, was like working on the same level. We decided that if we wanted success we had to work it out by ourselves. For us it’s most important that students have their own voices. Did you know he faked much of his portfolio when applying with you? But students still cry from time to time here, don’t they? Tears usually prove that there’s an acknowledgement, an understanding of something.
In the heart of the Belgian fashion capital, we covered a range of topics, from The Antwerp Six to finding his students' voice. It was something I really didn’t want to be doing at first. Now I have some authority, but then it was just about sitting down with someone your own age and critiquing them. Can you immediately see if a student has a worthwhile vision? I see students from their third year on, so by that time they’re pretty developed. That’s why we traveled, first to London, afterwards to Japan and America. Some years you see that the students stick together, but sometimes they split up into smaller groups. Those magazine covers he 'styled' were actually faked. If I see a student’s work is not there, I demand more effort, research and work.Let's suppose that the DEA does know that Walt is Heisenberg, thanks to Hank's thorough notes. But having him die of cancer would seem like a karmic cop out; lots of perfectly wonderful people die of cancer, too. But as wrenching as "Ozymandias" was, it did introduce a way for the White family to survive without Walt; paint him as a lunatic villain and then move the hell out of there, presumably with a lot of therapy.When does that information become public — or at least, when does a spray-painting vandal find that out? It's not a punishment, and it wouldn't feel like justice if that's how Walt goes out. We see Walt retrieve his precious ricin vial in "Blood Money." The ricin has been a major subject of conversation over the past few weeks, especially after Jesse started piecing together Walt's history of lying to him in general and about the ricin in particular. Saul has been threatened and beaten and forced to kneel in the desert and beg for his life. For a while, it seemed like the biggest tragedy that could befall Walt would be the death of his family. People come to work here and find their voice, the same goes for Bernhard Willhelm. His graduate collection was incredibly controversial, something you have been known for yourself. My strong imagination really prevents me from being influenced. We prove that with creativity and belief, something is possible that can’t be purchased.And we also know he goes away from ABQ long enough to grow back a decent head of hair and a full-on beard.