Bernhard Willhelm (1972), fashion designer.
Bernhard Willhelm and Björk. She bought stuff from his graduate collection in 1998. He designed the extraordinary thing she’s wearing on the sleeve of Volta. And their reputations have both just been sanctioned by major museum exhibitions, Björk’s at MoMA in New York, Willhelm’s at MOCA in L.A. If there’s an irony there, the designer would be perfectly happy. “Iconic and ironic” was his own summation of his work during a walk round his latest collection.
During his studies he assisted Walter van Beirendonck, Alexander Mc Queen, Vivienne Westwood and Dirk Bikkembergs. Received his diploma in fashion design with honors in July 1998 at the ROYAL ACADEMY of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
The Art Foundation URSULA BLICKLE, curated by Nikolaus Schaffhausen showed a retrospective of his work in July 2003. “Bernhard Willhelm 1999-2004” book published by Lukas & Sternberg on the occasion of the exhibition at the Ursula Blickle Art Foundation. The French cultural minister awarded Bernhard Willhelm with the first prize as well as the accessory prize by the ANDAM in April 2005.
He is renowned for his love of mixing absurdity with high fashion.