When a designer says the gathering is about ‘optimism,’ it often pays to be pessimistic. That theme is so broad, so inchoate, and so intangible that it eludes all however the rarest efforts to seize even a scintilla of its elusive essence in clothes.
In the present day’s Dries Van Noten present, his first womenswear runway sortie in 30 months, was an exception. It not solely mirrored optimism however stirred it, too. Rigorously structured to realize its sumptuously efficient goal, this was a 64-look detox that flushed away trend circuit ennui. It left us clapping like giddy seals.
We started sunk in inky darkness, lining a tough concrete room illuminated solely by the glow of telephones. The lights got here up on a sequence of all-black appears. Van Noten mentioned he’d been considering of Malevich’s 1915 portray The Black Sq., an infinitely readable and to many terrifying summary black vacuum. However these appears had been no void: by imposing the rigidly all-black rule we had been compelled to think about the feel, construction and silhouettes, all highly-designed, that handed us. These began with an outsized jacket in a technical, spongey, meshed materials that was fixed with a glass-headed pin to create a furled, succulent collect. Tailoring items bore the exact suture of surgically utilized darting. Slowly, in opposition to this construction, emerged a tentative undergrowth of ornamental foliage: a ruffle bag trailing fringe, a floral brocade on a fitted costume with a tendril of ruffled jersey on the suitable shoulder, a ruffled shoe worn beneath a soft-shouldered jacket with a bomber jacket hem, a fringe-hemmed coat. Then an eruption of fractal, myriad, pleated ruffles encrusted like some darkish barnacle on a T-shirt costume, and eventually the primary glimpse of coloration in a strata of indigo paillette on a crop prime.
Part two launched coloration, largely pale and washed at first, in rustling paillette items, and a few terribly embellished cotton jersey T-shirts and skirts. A few of that coloration appears decreased in copy: the burgundy ruffle-petal skirt of look 26 regarded far richer to the attention than within the gallery right here. Van Noten strengthened lots of the black-section motifs, however added contemporary parts by way of macrame overshirts and materials textured with chaotic wrinkling.
The third part resulting in crescendo got here, inevitably by now, with the injection of floral patterns in opposition to the beforehand established coloration and construction. These patterns had been drawn then redrafted from previous Van Noten collections and mashed sumptuously in opposition to one another. Florals for spring? Sure, but additionally groundbreaking for the extremely cultivated tempo and mental timbre of their contextual supply. Extra principally, you needed to put on it, or shoot it, or purchase it for somebody to please in. And due to that gradual construct of all that had preceded it, you could possibly respect the composite parts beneath the dazzling sample. So, to recap, what was that theme once more, Dries? “Optimism,” he replied: “As a result of life might be actually lovely. You’ve the colours, you’ve gotten the flowers…” So let’s odor them? “Completely!”